This classification covers establishments primarily engaged in performing services, except veterinary, for cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, and poultry. Dairy herd improvement associations are also included in this industry. Establishments primarily engaged in the fattening of cattle are classified in SIC 0211: Beef Cattle Feedlots. Establishments engaged in incidental feeding of livestock, often during periods of transportation, as a part of holding them in stockyards for periods of less than 30 days are classified in SIC 4789: Transportation Services, Not Elsewhere Classified. Establishments that perform services, except those in the realm of veterinary services, for animals not classified as livestock are classified in SIC 0752: Animal Specialty Services, Except Veterinary.
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering
Support Activities for Animal Production
The raising of cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, and poultry requires several specialized husbandry skills, many of which are performed by members of the livestock service industry. These services range from artificial insemination to pedigree record keeping to sheep dipping and shearing.
Labor use on American farms and ranches has changed dramatically since World War II. In 1950 nearly 10 million workers were employed on farms and ranches, but by 1969 this figure had been reduced to 3.1 million. In subsequent decades, this number continued to drop and held at less than 1 million in the early 2000s. This decrease was the result of the trend toward fewer and larger agricultural enterprises and the increasing use of technological innovation. One result of increasing concentration and the development of very large poultry and livestock feeding enterprises has been the switch from family labor to the increased use of temporary workers. In the early 2000s, roughly 20 percent of all farms relied on contract labor, a sizable increase from 1980 when only about 2 percent did. Another result has been higher than average unemployment rates among farm laborers. In 2002 roughly 11 percent of the hired farm labor force was unemployed, compared to an average of roughly 6 percent for the U.S. labor force as a whole.
Establishments in this industry provide a range of livestock maintenance services. In 2003 two of the leading livestock service providers in the United States were ABS Global, Inc. and Pig Improvement Company, Inc. A subsidiary of Genus plc, ABS extended its international reach in 2003 with the purchase of RAB Australia Pty. Ltd., the largest private cattle insemination operation in Australia. Also that year, Pig Improvement and Birchwood...