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Farmed Animal Death Toll - US


The total number of land-based animals killed for food in the U.S. this year is projected to reach 10.45 billion, according to extrapolation of data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS). This represents only a 0.6% increase over the 2005 figure of 10.39 billion – well under the 0.9% annual U.S. population growth.

The number of fishes and other aquatic organisms killed for human and animal consumption is not reported by any agency, but is likely to exceed that number.

The 2006 total of 10,452 million includes 40 million cattle and calves (up 7% from 37.5 million in 2005, 123 million pigs (up 1% from 122 million), 4 million sheep and goats, 290 million turkeys (up 5% from 276), 31 million ducks (up 4% from 30 million), 9,575 million "broilers" (up 1% from 9,480 million) and 389 million laying hens (down 11% from $437 million).

The total number of mammals and birds killed for food in 2005 reflects both the 9,417 million animals slaughtered under federal inspection and another 970 million, or 9.3% of the total, who suffered lingering deaths from disease, malnutrition, injury, suffocation, stress, or other deadly factory farming practices.

The more egregious examples are the 218 million male counterparts of laying hens suffocated in plastic garbage bags upon hatching, turkeys who die before placement on a farm, and piglets who die before weaning.

In more personal terms, during a 75-year life span, a typical U.S. resident is responsible for the suffering and death of 11 cows, 32 pigs and sheep, and 2,600 turkeys, chickens and ducks, and uncounted numbers of fishes and other aquatic animals.

The 10,452 million animals raised and killed for food account for 98% of land-based animals abused and killed annually in the U.S.

Another 130 million animals are killed for "sport," 60 million are used in biomedical research and testing, and 5 million are put down in pounds.

The number of land-based animals killed for food in 2005 world-wide was approximately 55 billion, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. This conservative figure does not account for non-slaughter deaths and under-reporting by developing nations. Again, the many billions of fishes and other aquatic animals killed for food are not reported at all.

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The following USDA/NASS publications were used in compiling this report:

"Hatchery Production, 2005 Summary" - April 2006

"Turkey Hatchery" - September 13, 2006

"Poultry Slaughter, 2005 Annual Summary" - February 2006

"Poultry Production and Value, 2005 Summary" - April 2006

"Quarterly Hogs and Pigs" - September 29, 2006

"Sheep and Goats" - January 27, 2006

"Livestock Slaughter, 2005 Summary" - March 2006

"Livestock Slaughter" - September 22, 2006

"Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income" - April 2006

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