Factory Farming

The Issues

Expanding the scale and magnitude of cruelty

Billions of animals every year are born into a production line so that humans can eat meat, dairy and eggs. Animals are treated as commodities that need to be acquired or produced as cheaply as possible. In this approach, cheap means cruel.
Factory farming is the epitome of animal cruelty. The sheer scale and depth of investment in suffering is hard to grasp – the more you find out, the more surreal you’ll find the brutal and mechanised breeding, feeding and slaughtering of living breathing beings.

Innovative ways to increase suffering

At any point in time, thousands of animals a second are being brutalised in factory farms and slaughterhouses around the world. Factory farm cruelty is well documented, and cruel ‘innovations’ are proudly advertised by the industry. There’s plenty of information around to illustrate just how barbaric factory farming is, but many governments seem to be siding with industry to protect the revenues gained from factory farming.
From machines to cut the throats of chickens to gas chambers for pigs, death is delivered on a grand scale on a factory farm.

Lowlights of typical factory farm life:

Egg farming

  • Day-old chicks have their beaks chopped off so they won't peck each other; many chickens starve to death because it's too painful to eat or drink. Their sex organs are forced to the outside so they can be divided into males and females
  • Males are often considered ‘waste’ and killed or left to die at birth. For example male chicks are either thrown into enormous bins and left to die, or they’re gassed, or they’re dropped alive into a massive grinder
  • Male chicks destined for breeding have their combs and spurs sliced off without painkillers, and can have rods permanently stabbed right through their beaks to prevent them from reaching food

Chicken Meat (Broilers)

  • These chickens grow so fast their legs, hearts and lungs give out and they lie in pain, are trampled or die of starvation or dehydration because they can’t reach food


  • Male calves, taken from their mothers within hours of birth, can be left to die of starvation and dehydration, or sold by weight for veal or calfskin leather
  • Dairy cows are kept in a permanent state of pregnancy and their calves are taken away as they’re pulled from the womb, leaving the confused mother to grieve; this happens for maybe 4 years, then when they stop producing enough milk to be commercially viable they’re slaughtered

Pig farming

  • Female pigs are confined in gestation crates that restrain them in a permanent lying position so they can’t stand up or turn around – much like being in a wire coffin - and piglets have their teeth clipped out with pliers
  • Piglets have their testicles ripped out without painkillers
  • Female pigs endure endless artificant insemination and impregnations


  • Cattle are forced to live ankle- knee or even chest-deep in their own faeces

All of this is considered legal and acceptable. This is factory farming in Australia.

History of Abuse

2011 – From this year and still ongoing today, some abattoirs in Australia have permission from state governments to slit the throats of fully conscious animals, as part of the religious practices of “halal” and “kosher” slaughter.
2012 – Undercover surveillance footage taken over a three month period by anonymous activists showing acts of unimaginable animal cruelty at Wally’s Piggery was released to the public. The footage depicted pigs being beaten to death with sledgehammers, kicked across the floor and dead piglets piled in buckets, among other things. The RSPCA dropped the case.
2013 – Video footage made public of Inghams workers bashing turkeys at the processing plant in Tahmoor as they are removed from cages. A worker picks up a turkey and slams it against a cage, before stomping on the bird’s head repeatedly until it no longer moves. Later, another worker is shown checking around a corner, apparently to make sure no one is watching, before lining up a bird and kicking it.
2014 – The documentary Lucent brought to light previously unseen suffering filmed across 50 different pig farm around the country, making it clear that abuse, cruelty and torture are inherent to Australia’s pig-farming industry, evidencing such treatment as systemic. No charges have been laid over anyone captured being cruel in the footage.
2015 – Tip Top Livestock allowed more than 86,000 chickens across six sites starved to death while those who survived had resorted to cannibalism, showing signs of distress, lameness and parasitic disease. No jail time was served.  This is the end of the

Products rather than animals

With factory farming, animals really are treated just like things – numbers, commodities, products. In some countries, farmed animals are classified as ‘property’. That means they’re not even protected by the laws that protect other animals like cats and dogs. Much of what humans do to animals raised for food would be illegal if it was being done to pets. This is horrific, seeing as there’s very little difference between these animals other than how we feel about them.
Most people would be appalled at what happens on factory farms; that’s why so many are hidden from view, and why lobbied leaders make laws to keep them protected from the public eye. These ‘Ag Gag’ laws help to make it illegal to film or photograph cruelty to animals on farms. Much of the cruelty itself, however, is ok in the eyes of the law.

What are we doing?

  • Investigating and documenting reports of animal cruelty in Queensland.
  • Working with a number of other animal rights groups to conduct ground breaking investigations to help get the truth out into the public spotlight.
  • We have produced a broad range of brochures on various factory farming issues which are freely available to the public, including our latest "What's wrong with dairy?" brochure.
  • ALQ recently exposed cruel conditions at two Queensland piggeries through anonymously received footage. You can view the footage on the Aussie Pigs web site.

What can you do?

  • Avoid animal products – consider going vegan, a way of life that tries to avoid contributing to animal exploitation and suffering
  • Become a member or make a donation and help give us the funds to conduct investigations and expose this cruelty
  • Volunteer with Animal Liberation Queensland and get involved with our campaigns
  • Write to your local leaders and politicians about the horrors of factory farming, and tell them you don’t want your tax money being used to subsidise it
  • Talk to people about factory farming and why we should avoid supporting it - spread the word


The Truth on Aussie Farms

The following web sites contain documented evidence of recent undercover investigations carried out in Australia and clearly show standard factory farming processes in Australia.
Warning: The following pages contain graphic photos and videos.


Find out more



“Factory farmed pigs never go outside, see the sun or feel the earth under their feet. Pregnant mothers suffer the most, confined alone in small cages known as sow stalls.”

“Factory farmed meat chickens struggle for personal space on a bed of their own faeces and will never see sunlight during their short lives.”

- The truth is hard to swallow by Voiceless

“In 1966, it took one million farms to house 57 million pigs; by the year 2001, it only took 80,000 farms to house the same number of pigs.”

- Public Health Nutrition paper: Public health implications of meat production and consumption