Animal mutilation in agriculture

Cattle, pigs and feathered animals have special needs. Like us humans and our roommates, they also feel fear, pain, and suffering. However, they are kept in agricultural animal husbandry under conditions peculiar to their species, mostly in scattered stables or even cages. Life on hard slatted floors, covered with dirt or wire mesh, or in crowded stables often leads to behavioral disturbances, so that the animals hurt each other. In order to counteract the resulting economic losses, organisms are deformed as a standard, with the aim of adapting them to unsuitable housing conditions.

In cattle breeding, animals suffer from the following abnormalities:

Castration mutilation without anesthesia

Although castration without anesthetic was banned in 2019 after many years of protest, this only applies to piglets. This draconian practice is still permitted for calves, lambs, and babies under four weeks of age. In a so-called “bloodless castration,” the blood supply to the testicles is cut off with forceps for a certain period of time. In addition to the torture during the procedure, the animals usually experience severe pain afterwards due to swelling and inflammation. Castrations are done, among other things, because bull meat is more common than bull meat or because it makes it easier to handle animals.


In the case of piglets, the routine cutting of curly tails in Germany has long been a well-founded criticism. According to EU regulations, this process has long been prohibited, but in practice the tails of young piglets are cut off with forceps in the first few days of life. According to a study, piglets experience pain not only during the procedure, but sometimes for several months afterward (1). Tails are cut off because animals bite each other’s tails out of sheer desperation and desperation. This not only presents an obvious animal welfare problem, but also leads to economic losses due to the costs of necessary medical treatments.

The tails of many sheep are also shortened. The animals were deliberately raised through torture to produce abnormally large amounts of wool. Excrement can get stuck in their hanging tails and lead to infestation of flies. With permission, it is also possible to cut off the tails of the males of the cattle that are being fattened. Due to the lack of space, animals often step on each other’s delicate tails, which can lead to serious injuries.

Sheep cooked in the wool industry

Unlike outdated sights, animals’ tails are very sensitive to pain. The fusion of this part of the body causes severe pain to animals. As with dogs and cats, cattle use tail movements to express different moods. As a result of the abnormal interference, the animals’ communications were also restricted.

Grinding milk teeth in pigs

Female pigs have been deliberately bred to give birth to an abnormally high number of piglets. However, this runs the risk that many young animals will severely injure the mother’s nipples or injure them later during the underserved fattening process. To avoid this, the teeth of most piglets are grinded in the first few days of life.

This process takes place in ropes and causes stress and suffering to animal children. In addition, the teeth are often scraped too deeply, which leads to even more pain. The pulp cavity in newborn pigs is relatively large. According to a study, grinding at least one tooth in more than 90 percent of piglets opens the pulp cavity, the dental nerve. (2) This causes severe dental pain, and hinders the eating and drinking of animals. It also leads to inflammation, necrosis, and other severe pain and long-term suffering. Although the use of a special grinding head can reduce the risks to some extent, this does not change the basic problem of animal husbandry: in order to adapt animals to deprived breeding and fattening, it causes great pain.

Dirty and infected piglets in small barns

Remove horns from calves

For calves up to six weeks of age, the farm may perform de-hulling themselves without electrocution. Small animals are fixed in place and the fuel rod is pressed at a temperature of several hundred degrees to the base of the horn. Extreme heat causes excruciating pain, even long after the procedure.

In addition, the horns are important to livestock because the animals communicate with their horns. It should also help with cooling. In animal husbandry, the horns of cattle are removed because they need more space with the horns and can injure each other due to mostly crowding situation.

Remove the horns from the calf

Beak trimming in feathered animals

Chickens in the egg industry The front part of the beak was routinely trimmed until 2017. Due to a voluntary agreement between the poultry industry and the federal government at the time, this harsh practice was stopped, but without improving housing conditions and giving more space to the animals. As a result, many chickens, in their despondency and despondency, injure themselves even more with their beaks.

Chicks with vertical beaks

In fattening turkeys, the beak is still deformed. Animals are held in such a way that uncut beaks can lead to serious injuries, which means financial losses for the animal industry. During the operation, the anterior part of the upper beak shortly after birth is treated with laser or infrared beams in such a way that they fall off after a short time. For birds, this means the amputation of an important tangible organ, because its beak – and above all its tip crossed with many nerve tracts – is almost like our hands.

Legal cruelty to animals

All of these malformations are already prohibited by the Animal Welfare Act – if there are not many exceptions for animals being exploited and killed in agriculture. Thus, for economic reasons, body parts are still cut off and organisms are routinely mutilated in order to adapt them to the strange housing conditions of the stables.

Anyone who thinks organic is better is wrong: even in OA, these distortions are sometimes allowed, even if at least anesthetic is required. However, the so-called organic animals are also manipulated for reasons of profit, kept for improper “production” of meat, milk and eggs and killed in the slaughterhouse after a short and sad life.

Confiscation of ear tags is also legal cruelty to animals. Read more here.

How to save animals from mutilation

By purchasing animal products from a supermarket, restaurant or delivery service, you are supporting the routine mutilation of living organisms. Please make a compassionate decision and follow a vegetarian diet. Our free, no-obligation vegan start-up program accompanies you with tips and tricks for starting an animal-friendly life.

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