American industrial meat farms have grown exponentially in size and numbers over the last decade.The number of broiler chickens in industrial farms, for instance, has doubled to 1.1 billion between 1997 and 2007. And the number of hogs has increased by a third in the same period.
Overcrowded farms lead to spread of diseases and improper handling of meats and dairy that has resulted in an increased number of food recalls in the last decade. But as retail prices of meats have increased significantly, farmers might be adding even more livestock and poultry to their feedlots.
Factory Farm Map, a non-profit tracking the expansion of commercial farms, have collected impressive stats about how many millions of chickens, pigs, and cows farms have been added to the slaughter lines in the last 10 years.
Nearly half of factory-farm egg-laying hens are located in just five states — Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, California and Pennsylvania.
The more than 135,000 dairy cows on factory-farm dairies in Gooding County, Idaho produce as much untreated manure as the sewage output from the New York City and Chicago metro areas combined.
California factory farm animals produce as much untreated manure as 456 million people — more than the entire U.S. population.
In 2010 an Illinois tributary temporarily turned purple when silage from a nearby mega dairy operation was released into the river. Officials did not know why the discharge caused the water to turn purple...
In 2010 Pennsylvania dairy operators agreed to pay a $12,920 fine and shut down their farm after tens of thousands of gallons of manure spilled into a tributary of the Licking Creek and Potomac River and killed 650 fish
According to the New Mexico Environment Department, two-thirds of the state's dairies are contaminating groundwater with excess nitrogen from manure leaking from lagoons or being over-applied to fields.
Excess livestock manure applications to fields of crops is the fastest growing large source of the greenhouse gas methane.
A 2003 study found that living downwind from industrial hog operations reduced the property values of neighbouring residential homes by approximately 10 per cent.
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