Our story

Peter Roberts

Compassion in World Farming founder, British dairy farmer Peter Roberts

Compassion in World Farming was founded in 1967 in England by a British farmer who became horrified by the development of intensive factory farming. Over 40 years ago he decided to make a difference and take a stand against this farming system. In his lifetime, Peter Roberts saw the demise of veal crates and gestation crates in the UK, and in Europe achieved recognition that animals are sentient beings and secured a ban on the barren battery cage and gestation crates for sows (except for the period up to four weeks into pregnancy). Today at Compassion in World Farming, we campaign peacefully on a global level, to end all cruel factory farming practices. We believe that the biggest cause of cruelty on the planet deserves a focused, specialized approach – so we only work on farm animal welfare.

Our US office is based in Atlanta, Georgia and is headed up by our US Director, Leah Garces.

Campaigning to end factory farming

Compassion has recently expanded its advocacy to include all areas that are detrimentally impacted by factory farming, including: the environment, human health, community and workers’ justice.

Compassion USA is dedicated to reforming a broken food and farming system and introducing a more humane sustainable one.  Compassion believes ending factory farming must be a priority not just because of the impact on farm animals, but because of the negative impact on farmers and workers, our health, food security and the environment.

Ninety-five percent of all factory farmed animals in the USA are chickens raised for meat (broilers), negatively affecting nearly 9 billion animals per year. That is why Compassion USA has set out to tackle this key area first. Believing in collaboration, Compassion USA recently launched the multi-stakeholder Georgians for Pastured Poultry; focusing on broiler factory farming in Georgia, which is the largest producer of broilers in the country.  We will continue to work throughout the United States to reform what we see as one of the most pressing issues of our time.

Read our Strategic Plan (pdf) >>

Want to help farm animals?

Our achievements

We are immensely proud of what we have achieved so far all over the world.


Our award winning undercover investigations have exposed the reality of modern intensive farming systems and brought the plight of farm animals to the attention of the world's media.

  • The world’s largest foie gras factory farm was being developed and was due to be built in China earlier this year. With the aid of fellow animal welfare organizations, Compassion received media coverage and was successful in preventing it from being built

Lobbying and campaigning

Our political lobbying and campaigning has resulted in the EU recognizing animals as sentient beings, capable of feeling pain and suffering. We have also secured landmark agreements to outlaw the barren battery cage for egg-laying hens, veal crates and sow stalls across Europe.

  • January 2012 saw the ban on the barren battery cage come into force in the EU. This has benefitted over 250 million egg laying hens
  • January 2013 saw the ban on use of gestation crates after the first four weeks of pregnancy. This has benefitted millions of sows.

Food Business program

Compassion in World Farming’s Food Business Team is working with some of the world’s biggest food companies - retailers, producers and manufacturers. The companies we work with are a key part of the drive towards a more ethical and sustainable food supply. Our Good Farm Animal Welfare awards are already benefitting over 287 million animals throughout Europe. We are set to launch a US specific Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards in the near future.

Read more about our Food Business impact >>

However, there are still many challenges we have to face if we are to realize our vision of a world where all farm animals are treated with compassion and respect and where cruel factory farming practices end.

We believe that farm animals should not and need not suffer. If you agree, please consider supporting us today. You will literally help us improve the lives of billions.

Thanks for listening

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