Beef Cattle

    cattle horn cutting
    Cattle horn cutting

  • Beef cattle are tail-docked, castrated, repeatedly branded, and have their horns chopped or burned off - all without pain killers.
  • Range cattle can be born and living on a range for months or years without any shelter or veterinary care. When they are finally rounded up by humans, the animals are often confused and terrified, which leads to injuries and downed animals that are too weak to stand up. Many of these downers live for days without water or care, or they may be pushed and beaten onto slaughter trucks.
  • The young animals are branded with third-degree burns by hot irons or have chunks cut out of their necks as identification for ranchers - all without anesthesia or pain killers.
  • Most beef cattle spent the last few months up to a year in factory farming feedlots where they are crowded into manure-laden holding pens. Here they are fattened with an unnatural diet of rich grains and growth hormones. This diet causes chronic digestive pain and some animals' intestines become ulcerated and rupture. The grain diet also causes fatal liver abscesses in 32% of cattle (7).

Slowing down the line to ensure that animals are properly killed is unheard of, and workers who alert officials to abuses at their slaughterhouse risk losing their jobs (13)

  • A standard beef slaughterhouse kills 250 animals per hour. The high speed of the production chain makes it hard to follow Human Slaughter Act guidelines, and cattle are not always stunned unconscious properly and just stabbed in the neck, after which they keep bleeding fully conscious, while moving up the assembly line to be dismembered piece by piece. One slaughterhouse employee states that this could happen a dozen times on bad days, and veterinarians across the US feel this is out of control (2).
  • The beef and dairy factory farming industry are huge producers of "downers", animals that are so weak or sick from their extreme body abuse that they are unable to walk or stand. Downed animals are routinely beaten, shocked, pushed with bulldozers, or have prods poked into their faces and rectums to force them to move (12).
  • One long-time slaughterhouse worker explains that cattle live for as long as seven minutes after their throats have been slit, many animals are still alive and fully conscious. His job is to cut the legs off the animals, and he frequently has had to cut the legs off fully conscious cows (21).