Farm animals have been a traditional concern of the modern animal protection movement. In the early 1800s, when the movement emerged as a significant sociopolitical force in the United Kingdom, its first priority was protection of farm animals, with particular emphasis on cattle and horses. Subsequently priorities changed, and throughout most of the 1900s, animal protectionism in Europe and the English-speaking world focused more strongly on the use of animals for scientific research and on the rescue of abandoned or ill-treated companion animals. Today, however, with vigorous public debate over animal agriculture and its effects, farm animals are re-emerging as a major subject of humane concern.
Fraser, D., Mench, J., & Millman, S. (2001). Farm animals and their welfare in 2000. In D.J. Salem & A.N. Rowan (Eds.), The state of the animals 2001 (pp. 87-99). Washington, DC: Humane Society Press.