(FACTORY FARMING/ANIMAL CRUELTY) In a new animal cruelty index tracking 50 countries that are among the world’s largest producers of farm animal products, the U.S. disturbingly ranks as the second worst country for animal welfare.

Belarus and Venezuela joined the U.S. among the lowest ranked countries, whereas Kenya, India, and the United Republic of Tanzania were among the highest.

Considering the combined impacts of production, consumption, and regulation, the Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index (VACI) shows how countries with more plant-based diets and those that have not implemented factory farming are more likely to rank highly for animal welfare.

Read on to learn more about the VACI scale and find out where your country ranks. — Global Animal

Chickens raised for Bell & Evans in Pennsylvania. Photo Credit: Jessica Kourkounis, NY Times

World Animal News, Lauren Lewis

According to the Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index (VACI), a new global interactive education resource that tracks the animal welfare performance of 50 countries that are selected among the largest producers of farm animal products in the world, the United States now ranks as the second worst country.

As per a statement by the organization, the countries, which were selected after considering the combined impacts of production, consumption, and regulatory factors, accounted for almost 80% of the world’s farm animal production.

The new index complements the World Animal Protection Index (API) that was published in 2014. While the API ranks the quality of animal welfare legislation across countries, of which the United States ranked 31st, the VACI focuses specifically on the welfare of farm animals.

Colorado dairy farm is being investigated for it's cruelty towards calves.
Ag-gag laws make it illegal to expose the activities of factory farms. Photo credit: foodnavigator.com

Horrifically, an estimated 70 billion farm animals are slaughtered each year for human consumption globally. This staggering number equates to over 191 million animals per day, almost 8 million per hour or 2,200 animals per second.

Countries with more plant-based diets and countries that have not adopted factory farming are ranked higher under the VACI scale.

As meat and dairy consumption rises, so does factory farming, which is rife with animal cruelty: most farm animals are permanently confined in cages or packed together in such large numbers that they struggle to find space to move or reach their food. Baby animals are mutilated without pain relief – the sensitive tails, teeth, and genitalia of piglets and the beaks of chicks, are clipped, as well as the horns, tails, and testicles of calves – because it is cheap, and alarmingly often lawful to do so. Just heartbreaking!

Belarus and Venezuela joined the United States as the lowest ranked countries.

The index also determined that Australia has very poor performance while implementation by the UK and New Zealand is marginal.

Kenya, India, and the United Republic of Tanzania ranked among the least cruel countries.

As always, WAN encourages people to adopt a plant-based diet and lifestyle.

If you are interested in where your country ranks, view the VACI HERE!

More World Animal News: http://worldanimalnews.com/u-s-ranks-49th-50-countries-new-worst-farm-animal-cruelty-index/