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An AFO is defined as an agricultural operation where animals are raised in confined situations and feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing in pastures. USEPA defines an AFO as an animal feeding operation lot or facility (other than an aquatic animal production facility) where the following conditions are met: (1) 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 (for more details see USEPA, 2003a). The largest of these operations that meet definitions outlined in USEPA regulations are called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).

The USEPA National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center provides information on a wide variety of animal production (beef, dairy, poultry, swine, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits, and exotics).

Additional links are provided below for information on the following major types of CAFOs, and also for aquaculture facilities: