Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) means an "animal feeding operation" which meets the criteria in 40 CFR part 122.23(b)(1) or which the Director designates as a significant contributor of pollution pursuant to 40 CFR 122.23(c). Animal feeding operation (AFO) means a lot or facility (other than an aquatic animal production facility) where the following conditions are met:

  1. Animals (other than aquatic animals) have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and
  2. Crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility.

Large CAFO: An AFO is defined as a Large CAFO if it stables or confines as many as or more than the numbers of animals specified in any of the following categories:

  1. 700 mature dairy cows, whether milked or dry;
  2. 1,000 veal calves;
  3. 1,000 cattle other than mature dairy cows or veal calves. Cattle includes but is not limited to heifers, steers, bulls and cow/calf pairs;
  4. 2,500 swine each weighing 55 pounds or more;
  5. 10,000 swine each weighing less than 55 pounds;
  6. 500 horses;
  7. 10,000 sheep or lambs;
  8. 55,000 turkeys;
  9. 30,000 laying hens or broilers, if the AFO uses a liquid manure handling system;
  10. 125,000 chickens (other than laying hens), if the AFO uses other than a liquid manure handling system;
  11. 82,000 laying hens, if the AFO uses other than a liquid manure handling system;
  12. 30,000 ducks (if the AFO uses other than a liquid manure handling system); or
  13. 5,000 ducks (if the AFO uses a liquid manure handling system).

Medium CAFO: An AFO is defined as a Medium CAFO if:

  1. The type and number of animals that it stables or confines falls within any of the following ranges:
    • 200 to 699 mature dairy cows, whether milked or dry;
    • 300 to 999 veal calves;
    • 300 to 999 cattle other than mature dairy cows or veal calves. Cattle includes but is not limited to heifers, steers, bulls and cow/calf pairs;
    • 750 to 2,499 swine each weighing 55 pounds or more;
    • 3,000 to 9,999 swine each weighing less than 55 pounds;
    • 150 to 499 horses;
    • 3,000 to 9,999 sheep or lambs;
    • 16,500 to 54,999 turkeys;
    • 9,000 to 29,999 laying hens or broilers, if the AFO uses a liquid manure handling system;
    • 37,500 to 124,999 chickens (other than laying hens), if the AFO uses other than a liquid manure handling system;
    • 25,000 to 81,999 laying hens, if the AFO uses other than a liquid manure handling system;
    • 10,000 to 29,999 ducks (if the AFO uses other than a liquid manure handling system); or
    • 1,500 to 4,999 ducks (if the AFO uses a liquid manure handling system); and
  2. Either one of the following conditions are met:
    • Pollutants are discharged into waters of the United States through a man-made ditch, flushing system, or other similar man-made device; or
    • Pollutants are discharged directly into waters of the United States which originate outside of and pass over, across, or through the facility or otherwise come into direct contact with the animals confined in the operation.

Jump to main content.