A slaughterhouse is an industrial facility where animals are processed for consumption as food products. In the United States, around ten billion animals are slaughtered every year in 5,700 slaughterhouses and processing plants employing 527,000 workers; in 2007, 28.1 billion pounds of beef were consumed in the U.S. alone. In Canada, 650 million are killed annually. In the European Union, the annual figure is 300 million cattle, sheep, and pigs, and four billion chickens. It is estimated that 500,000 animals die before reaching the slaughterhouse.

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