CAFO Horror Stories

CAFOs - Farm Animal Cruelty by Design

Intensive confinement is the cramming of large numbers of hapless animals into enclosed spaces. Readers will find the consequences of these design and operating features in this Fact Sheet describing particularly egregious examples of CAFO animal cruelty.


  • Inhumane CAFO Animal Breeding TechniquesCAFOs exist to minimize livestock producers’ costs and maximize their profits. Since the beginning of the industrialization of animal husbandry after World War II, the industry has sought to genetically manipulate livestock to create physical characteristics that would increase the market value of their final product.

  • Mourning 18,000 Cows and an Injured Employee Trapped and Exploded in a Massive Dairy CAFO - The Texas state fire marshal’s office is investigating the death of 18,000 confined dairy cows, unable to escape an explosion and fire. One trapped woman was rescued from a building and airlifted to a Lubbock hospital 80-miles from the Dimmitt CAFO for treatment. Read the news accounts around the country that expose one of the horrors of the CAFO system.

  • Cruel Killing of Massive Number of AnimalsOne of the most horrible consequences of the intensive confinement of huge numbers of animals in CAFOs is their Increased vulnerability to the spread of disease. For decades the industry has attempted to counteract this problem with antibiotics, but antibiotics don’t work on viruses.  If a single animal in a barn crowded with near identical animals becomes infected, the disease will spread like wildfire. Before this happens, operators will usually kill them all to prevent spread to other barns. The process is called “culling” and usually employs techniques that cause severe suffering.