YOUR 2022 IMPACT FOR ANIMALS
In nine months of 2022, you have changed the lives of more than 166 million animals!
You and us share a mission: to change the world for farmed animals.
But the thing about change is that we can’t be certain about it. We are never certain if the nights at the slaughterhouses, doing undercover investigations, will change laws or the hearts and minds of those who watch them. Neither if our informative campaigns will convince companies to adopt meaningful commitments to animals.
But we take ownership of that within our control. We show up every day giving our best for animals, and we do that thanks to you.
By signing petitions, showing up to our protests, donating what you can, and reading and sharing our emails, you give us the strength to continue fighting every day for animals.
So celebrate! Because YOU got Italy to ban male chick killing, a brutal practice common within the egg industry, YOU got Carrefour, one of the largest retailers in Europe, to commit to meaningful protections for chickens.
YOU made it possible for us to document animal cruelty in a slaughterhouse in Hidalgo, Mexico. And as a result, Congress approved an initiative to criminalize animal cruelty in slaughterhouses.
YOU got millions of people thinking about how they treat animals and thousands switching to plant-based options.
YOU do your best for animals every day, and because of you, so do we at Animal Equality.
Your support for us to keep fighting this battle against unimaginable adversity and powerful enemies reminds us that we can win. We can achieve. With you by our side, we can change the world for animals.
Thank you for supporting our work to keep making history for animals.
IMPACT BY THE NUMBERS
Together, we’ve made significant strides to help animals in 2022. Your actions have helped advocate for mother pigs trapped in cages, spotlight the plight of chickens, expose the dairy industry’s practices, and more.
Every campaign we launch is instrumental in improving the lives of chickens, cows, pigs, and other animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses worldwide. With each petition signature, we gain public support that allows us to persuade key decision-makers to introduce legal protections for animals. By sharing our work and contacting companies on social media, you’re helping to create awareness around animal suffering and hold the abusers accountable. These actions lead to changes in company policies, legal reforms, sometimes even closing factory farms and convicting animal abusers, and thousands of people switching to plant-based eating.
ENDING FACTORY FARMING
Cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals spend their lives trapped inside factory farms to produce dairy, meat, and eggs. Packed in sheds, mother pigs live in crates so small they can’t turn around. Chickens live amongst their own waste, struggle to walk or stand, and suffer chronic pain. Cows endure forced impregnation and separation from their calves. And hens are confined to tiny cages, unable to spread their wings.
The animals living on factory farms can’t breathe fresh air, or move freely and are subject to abuse from workers without consequence.
Increasing Animal Protections in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay
Animal Equality in Brazil and Eurogroup organized a conference with key decision makers to discuss the negative impacts of the European Union’s Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will define the trade relations between the EU and some Latin American countries and that doesn’t currently include any guidelines on the treatment of animals.
Among the issues discussed, participants debated the need to engage civil society organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay in decisions related to the FTA, such as the subsidies granted to the animal production industry, the use of natural resources by the animal agriculture industry, and topics related to One Health. This concept addresses animal health and environmental balance as essential to human health.
Participants also urged members of the European Commission to increase transparency in animal-based products’ supply chains and to foster the transition to a plant-based food system.
Calling for an EU Commissioner for Animal Welfare
Animal Equality in Germany, Italy and Spain are part of the #EUforAnimals campaign calling for the appointment of an EU Commissioner for Animal Welfare. This appointment would ensure a permanent person in the EU Commission for issues related to animal protection that would be responsible for acting on violations.
181 Members of the European Parliament from different countries and political groups support the demand. Over 175,000 European citizens have already signed the petition for the #EUforAnimals campaign.
BANNING THE FORCE-FEEDING OF DUCKS AND GEESE
You’re helping ducks and geese by ending the practice of force-feeding used to produce foie gras, that not only causes a great deal of pain and stress for the animals, but also causes suffering from injuries, infections, and ruptured organs.
We’re determined to ban force-feeding permanently. In the US, we’re working with state and local politicians to ban its sale and production. And in countries where production is already banned, we’re working to eliminate its import and sale.
Spain Speaks Out Against Foie Gras
Over the years, Animal Equality investigated seven foie gras farms in Spain—including the farm of the then president of the foie gras industry—and launched a foie gras campaign. As a result, one of the farms closed, and we are now calling on the government to ban force-feeding, a cruel practice that one million ducks and geese are subjected to every year. The letter addressed to the Government and the European Commission has already received more than 80,000 signatures of support.
Spanish actress and animal rights activist Sara Sálamo lends her voice to the campaign video. We’ve also held two demonstrations in Madrid, one in front of the city’s top restaurant known for its foie gras dish.
Additionally, the campaign was echoed in the Spanish television, in the Informativos Telecinco news, reaching millions of people.
Protecting Ducks and Geese in the US
Animal Equality launched a campaign calling for a complete ban on the sale and production of foie gras in the US. Over 56,000 people have already signed the petition to support a nationwide ban since February.
We’re working to introduce local and state legislation to ban force-feeding and the sale of foie gras, advancing toward a permanent ban on foie gras production in the United States. President Sharon Núñez and our Legal Advocacy Counsel Sarah Hanneken held a Q&A event to answer your questions about foie gras and how to take action in our campaign to protect ducks and geese. Sarah also led two legal advocacy workshops on ways to engage with local lawmakers.
Banning Cruel Force-Feeding in Germany
Animal Equality launched a campaign to end the force-feeding of geese and ducks caused by importing foie gras in Germany. Although force-feeding is already a violation of the country’s laws, in 2020 alone, Germany imported over 50 tons of foie gras from other countries, resulting in approximately 65,000 ducks suffering to supply that demand. Additionally, we’re calling for a complete ban on force-feeding in Europe to be introduced as part of the ongoing revision of EU legislation about animals. Our petition has already received over 28,000 signatures of support.
TAKING ACTION FOR PIGS
We’re campaigning for mother pigs on factory farms who spend their entire lives confined in cages so small they can’t even turn around or care for their young properly. The workers cut the piglets’ tails, teeth, and testicles without anesthesia within days of being born—a common practice in the industry.
Zema Slaughterhouse Owner Held Accountable for Abuse
Animal Equality in Italy filed two complaints with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Cremona against workers and owners abusing pigs at the Zema Srl slaughterhouse. The investigation we released in 2021 showed them beating pigs with sticks and shovels, slamming a pig against the wall, and ineffectively stunning them before slaughter, leaving them still conscious.
The owner of the company faced charges for his actions. After one year and two hearings, the judge of the Court of Cremona put the owner on probation. In addition, he was required to pay Animal Equality and other animal protection organizations roughly 10,000 euros.
Investigation Update: 2018 Complaint Goes to Court
In a significant step toward holding abusers accountable, Animal Equality’s legal complaint against a pig farm in Spain and the meat company Cefusa will go to court. The independent expert witness who inspected the farm after our complaint urged the judge to close the farm due to the neglect and cruelty he witnessed. The investigation was featured in the most important television program of the country, Salvados, and showed pigs suffering from tumors, deformities, and in some instances, cannibalism. We will continue to expose and denounce animal abuse and bring those responsible to justice.
ELIMINATING CAGES FOR HENS
Hens spend their lives in cramped wire cages where they can’t move freely and spread their wings. Due to the stress of confinement, many engage in self-mutilation and cannibalism. We’re pushing companies to eliminate the use of cages and provide enrichments crucial to their well-being, like nest boxes, perches, and dust-bathing areas. This is a critical step to reducing the suffering of these animals and increasing their protection. No animal should have to spend their entire life in a cage.
Arizona Commits to Eliminate Cages
Arizona became the 10th state in the United States to ban the sale and production of eggs from caged hens in April. Animal Equality’s volunteers and advocates submitted public comments supporting the ban as part of a coalition effort with other organizations. It’s estimated that seven million hens will be able to spread their wings and have better lives when the new ban is implemented in 2025.
IMPROVING THE LIVES OF CHICKENS
Chickens are kept in dim sheds, forced to live in their own waste, and bred to grow so fast that they experience painful leg deformities and heart attacks.
We’re working to establish protections for chickens and end the breeding of chickens genetically selected to grow unnaturally large in just a few weeks, which results in painful health problems.
We are also working to end the cruel killing of new born male chicks, a practice that is common within the egg industry.
Italy Bans the Killing of Male Chicks in an Effort Led by Animal Equality
In 2020, Animal Equality launched the ‘Stop the Slaughter of Male Chicks’ campaign, supported by more than 110,000 people.
As a result, a historic vote has ended the mass slaughter of male chicks in Italy. By 2026, the Italian government will have to introduce measures to ban the egg industry’s systematic killing of chicks. Between 25 and 40 million chicks’ lives will be spared annually.
First Latin American Commitment to Ban the Killing of Male Chicks
After negotiations with Animal Equality, Mantiqueira, South America’s largest egg producer, became the first Latin American company to commit to stop buying female chicks from hatcheries that kill male chicks for their inability to lay eggs and because they can’t be raised for meat. We’re working to introduce technologies in Brazil to identify the sex of the chick during the incubation period. Mantiqueira’s commitment will spare seven million male chicks a year.
Following Mantiqueira’s commitment, Animal Equality negotiated with three other companies that also committed—Granja Raiar, Korin Alimentos, and Planalto Ovos, to spare more than 500,000 chicks a year.
The Cruelty of Fast Growing Chicken Breeds Exposed
Animal Equality investigators inspected a fast-growing chicken farm in Italy. These chickens are bred to grow 400 percent faster and suffer from numerous health conditions like heart attacks and pneumonia. Because of their unnatural size, some chicks cannot walk or stand up, and their bones break easily. Our investigators also documented filth, overcrowding, serious diseases, and dozens of dead chickens on the factory farm. Currently, 99 percent of chickens raised for food have been genetically selected to grow as fast as possible, and these chickens endure disastrous repercussions on their health.
We’re demanding that the Italian Government, the Minister of Health, and the Minister for Agricultural Policies prohibit breeding genetically selected animals to grow so large and fast that they spend their entire lives suffering.
We have also reported all 27 EU member states to the European Commission, asking it to verify how the breeding of fast-growing broiler chickens is in complete contrast to European legislation protecting animals on farms and Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, which recognizes animals as ‘sentient beings’.
Lawsuit Filed Against Large Chicken Producer For Cruelty
Animal Equality filed a lawsuit against a Foster Farms hatchery in California. Legal action was taken when local law enforcement failed to respond to our 2021 undercover investigation, which revealed baby chicks being crushed, drowned, and mutilated. The hatchery breeds roughly 3.3 million chicks for Foster Farms weekly.
We’re seeking a court order prohibiting Foster Farms from continuing unlawful business practices and requiring the company to establish policies and procedures that protect the baby chicks at the hatchery investigated from unnecessary injury, suffering, and death.
Carrefour Spain joins the European Chicken Commitment
Carrefour Spain has announced its adherence to the European Chicken Commitment, following a joint effort between Animal Equality and other organizations.
The supermarket chain has committed to exceeding the minimum chicken welfare requirements set by law and to meet the welfare requirements of the European Chicken Commitment in its fresh, frozen and products containing more than 50% chicken ingredients from its own brands by 2026. This decision will positively impact the lives of 38 million chickens per year.
Eliminating Male Chick Suffering in Germany
Animal Equality launched a campaign to reduce chick suffering as, following the chick-killing ban, male chicks are now being reared in factory farms and killed later. An alternative is In-Ovo-Sexing, which allows sorting out eggs that would produce male chicks. German law will soon forbid to sort out eggs later than day seven of incubation – so far, In-Ovo-Sexing works from day nine on. In-Ovo-Sexing effectively prevents chick suffering, as it could spare up to 42 million chicks per year from being born into factory farms. The accompanying petition of our campaign demands to allow eggs to be sorted out later than day seven.
PROTECTING ANIMALS IN SLAUGHTERHOUSES
Because of improper stunning methods, cows, pigs, and lambs are often killed while still conscious. Chickens, hens, turkeys, and other birds are passed through an ineffective electrical water-bath stunning system, causing hundreds of millions of chickens to be scalded alive yearly.
Through our investigations, we’re raising public awareness about practices used in slaughterhouses worldwide and campaigning to spare these animals from unnecessary suffering.
Stopping the Self Regulation of Slaughterhouses in Brazil
Animal Equality launched a campaign against the so-called Livestock’s Self-Control bill introduced by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. The bill aims to reduce government oversight inside the food industry and will directly affect how slaughterhouses treat animals. We investigated three slaughterhouses to demonstrate how animals already suffer within the food supply chain despite regulation.
Animal Equality, other animal protection organizations, and the Association of Inspectors sent three open letters to the Senate. Due to this and the media coverage, 27 Senators filed a demand for the bill to be voted on in a plenary session.
On September 15th, Animal Equality organized a public hearing at São Paulo’s State Assembly alongside several animal, environmental, and human health protection organizations to discuss concerns. The discussion will serve as the basis for an official letter that will be sent to senators highlighting all of the damage the new law will bring to animals, the environment, and the population.
Hidalgo Becomes the First State in Mexico to Protect Animals in Farms
As a result of our investigations, the Congress of the State of Hidalgo has unanimously approved an initiative to modify the Law for the Protection and Dignified Treatment of Animals and the Criminal Code. This makes Hidalgo the first state in Mexico to dedicate an entire chapter of a law on minimum standards for animals in farms. In addition, it will criminalize animal cruelty in slaughterhouses.
The killing of conscious animals and the operation of unregulated slaughterhouses will be considered a crime and result in sentences of up to four years in prison and fines. These reforms now protect nearly 50 million pigs, cows, chickens, hens, lambs, and other animals raised for food.
Animal Equality Launches the Most Extensive Slaughterhouse Investigation
Animal Equality released the most extensive investigation completed by an organization documenting the emotional and physical suffering of cows, pigs, and sheep in more than 30 slaughterhouses in 13 states in Mexico over six years.
Our investigators found employees mishandling animals with electrical devices, hitting, kicking, and yelling, and animals showing signs of distress, such as flight behavior and vocalization. We also exposed cows and pigs still conscious during slaughter due to ineffective stunning methods. The investigation was covered by some of the most important media in the country.
Animal Equality is working on various legal initiatives to recognize animals with complex nervous systems as sentient beings whose welfare must be protected by the law.
ENDING THE ABUSE OF DAIRY COWS
Cows raised for dairy products suffer from forced impregnation and separation from their calves throughout their lives before being sent to slaughter. Their calves will live alone in a small hut where they’re fed a milk replacer diet. Some of the female calves will be reared to replace the mothers that died or those being sent to slaughter, and their newly developed horns are burnt off without painkillers. The rest of the calves, mostly males, will be sold to be reared for meat or directly slaughtered for veal.
Our investigations have uncovered workers’ abuse in dairy farms, such as punching and kicking animals in the face and stomach. We’ll continue to raise awareness amongst the public and advocate for new legislation that holds abusers accountable.
Dairy Investigation Watched by Millions on the BBC
Animal Equality released an investigation inside Madox Farm, a dairy farm in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Our investigator documented workers kicking and punching cows in the face and stomach, twisting their tails, and hitting them with sharp metal shovels. In one instance, a pregnant cow was left to suffer and die after her baby died inside of her. At the time of filming, the farm supplied milk to Freshways, the UK’s largest dairy processor, whose products are distributed to major companies. The footage aired on BBC One’s Panorama, one of the country’s biggest television programs, and was seen by millions of viewers.
The response was huge, with hundreds of people pledging publicly to stop drinking dairy. Data gathered from the popular dating app Veggly show that 35% of the UK’s ‘vegetarian’ users have switched to ‘vegan’ since the investigation aired. There has also been a 40% increase in new vegan users.
Alongside the investigation, we launched a petition calling for a licensing system to be put in place for farms and slaughterhouses. This will only allow farms that successfully pass regular and thorough inspections to operate. The petition has been signed by over 67,000 people so far.
Animal Cruelty Against Buffalo in India Denounced
Animal Equality in India released an undercover investigation outside a dairy farm in Paglahat Village near Kolkata. The investigation revealed workers abusing a female buffalo as they attempted to load her onto a transport truck. The images captured showed them beating and twisting her tail to cause pain, violently and repeatedly pushing a stick into her genitals, causing bleeding wounds, and pouring water over her nose and mouth to make her feel like she was drowning.
Animal Equality submitted evidence of this incident to the Animal Welfare Board of India, which filed a complaint with the Kolkata Police. Animal Equality has denounced these crimes and calls for the workers to be prosecuted.
Actress Miriam Margolyes Asks Consumers to Ditch Dairy
Award-winning British-Australian actress Miriam Margoyles has joined Animal Equality’s campaign to help cows and calves who suffer in the dairy industry. Launched via The Independent, it calls on the UK Government to move subsidies away from the dairy industry and towards plant-based alternatives like oat milk and soy milk, and to support farmers in making the transition.
Promoting Plant-Based Cheese and Milk to Save Cows
Animal Equality launched a Love Veg campaign to save cows and calves by informing consumers of the living conditions of these animals in the dairy industry and inviting them to replace cow milk and cheese with plant-based alternatives. Its recipe book, named “My first vegan cheeses,” includes 29 recipes to live without dairy and has been downloaded by more than 60,000 people since its launch in May. With this and other campaigns, Love Veg has impacted more than 330,000 animals in Mexico this year.
In Mexico, more than 2 million cows are exploited for their milk.
Millions of fishes live tightly packed inside aquatic factory farms with high levels of ammonia and nitrates. They’re susceptible to bacterial infections and parasitic infestations that feed on their gills, organs, and blood. There are no legal protections for fish, and they’re killed by suffocation when left out of the water, electrocution, and decapitation.
We’re fighting to reduce the suffering of farmed fish. And we’ll continue to investigate and document the conditions they endure inside fish farms and slaughterhouses to eliminate consumer deception around “humanely-farmed fish.”
Routine Inspections of Fish Slaughterhouses Introduced In Scotland
The Scottish government has introduced mandatory inspections in salmon slaughterhouses following Animal Equality’s investigation into The Scottish Salmon Company that uncovered fish having their gills cut while still conscious and being clubbed by workers and left to suffocate. This would impact an estimated 45 million animals.
Animal Equality is now pushing for mandatory surveillance cameras and for the footage to be made available to the public for scrutiny, with our legal advocacy campaign garnering media coverage in mainstream publications, including The Times.
PROMOTING A PLANT-BASED DIET
Animal Equality includes strong diet change messaging in all our publications. This includes encouraging our newsletter subscribers to transition to a plant-based diet and directing pages and news articles to our Love Veg website, which has easy recipes and helpful tips on transitioning to inspire people to give plant-based foods a try.
In Italy, Animal Equality published the Save a Lamb Campaign before the Easter holiday. We developed a heartwarming video filmed at an animal sanctuary with Bruno Bozzetto, an Italian cartoonist and film director, and Andrea Capodanno, a famous vegan influencer with over 200k followers, to encourage people to adopt a plant-based diet and show them how affectionate and sociable lambs are.
The film also includes a conversation between Bozzetto and Capodanno about how easy it is to renew traditions. It was covered by key Italian media such as la Repubblica and HuffPost Italia.
And in Spain, we launched a series of publications to encourage Spaniards to drop dairy and choose delicious dairy-free alternatives.
Our Love Veg Program
Love Veg is Animal Equality’s signature plant-based program, inspiring millions worldwide to leave animals off their plates.
India: Celebrities Endorse the 21-Day Plant-Powered Challenge
Several celebrities have joined Animal Equality to promote plant-based foods, including Aaditi Pohankar and Vaarun Bhagat. They also promoted the 21 days plant-powered challenge to the viewers.
Mexico: Getting Started Guidance
Since launching Love Veg Mexico in 2015, previously named Discover Your Food from 2015 to 2018, more than one million people have joined us. We welcome everyone with an introductory series of emails and continue to share content for an entire year to provide our readers with the knowledge and support needed to transition to a plant-based lifestyle.
Starting in 2021, Love Veg began calculating the number of animals saved by the project based on the consumption per capita and the 12 months we engaged this audience. Since tracking this metric, Animal Equality has spared 393,620 animals with Love Veg Mexico.
Our work has been featured in Mimosa Magazine, Quadratin México, Tijuana Informativo, Hoja de Ruta Digital, and Crónica Jalisco.
None of these results are possible without your support and generous donations. Together, we’re building a better world for animals—but there’s still more work to be done. Join Animal Equality today to help animals throughout the year and keep pushing progress forward.