In the United States, animal species, excluding humans, are classified according to their intended use as either production animals or companion animals.
|Major Species||The seven major species are horses, dogs, cats, cattle, swine, turkeys and chickens. Within this group, cattle, swine, turkeys and chickens are classified as MAJOR FOOD ANIMALS based upon their use for human food production or consumption by humans.|
|Minor Species||Includes all non-human animal species that are NOT one of the seven major species. This group includes zoo animals, ornamental fishes as well as pets or companion species that are not major species. Within this group, there are many animal species (sheep, goats, catfish, game birds, honey bees, shellfishes, etc.) that are classified as MINOR FOOD ANIMALS based upon their use for human food production or consumption by humans.|
|Food Animals||Animal species that are raised and used for food production or consumption by humans. There are distinct and unique government regulations applied to Major Food Animals versus Minor Food Animals.|
|Animal species or classes that are used to create a food or food by-product that does not require slaughter, such as milk (also used to make cheese and butter), eggs and honey.|