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Is it correct to use 'domestic animal' instead of 'livestock' (cattle)?

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They're not the same. Cats and dogs are domestic animals, but they are not livestock. – Andrew Leach Feb 15 '13 at 21:00
@AndrewLeach Indeed — English-speaking countries do not normally keep dogs as livestock for food or pelt or whatnot. Even working dogs like for a sled up above the arctic circle wouldn’t get called that. – tchrist Feb 15 '13 at 21:30
Ooh. A duplicate on ELL. – Andrew Leach Feb 15 '13 at 21:33
@AndrewLeach: I noticed that, too (and even answered in both places, wondering if a meta question ought to be asked). Looks like the O.P. is hungry for an answer. – J.R. Feb 15 '13 at 21:51
@AndrewLeach That was a mistake. I forgot to sign in before posting the question but I couldn't delete or move it because it was not associated with any registered account. I think that's considered a temporary question and will get deleted automatically after some time. Sorry. I promise I won't do that again. – Mohammad Sanei Feb 15 '13 at 21:53
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Domestic animal is not "the same" as cattle, but cattle kept and fed by livestock farmers can be considered "domestic."

There's some good info on Wikipedia, and another web site says:

A domesticated animal is any animal that depends on a human for food, water and shelter; this includes farm animals such as cattle, horses, sheep, chickens, goats, dogs and cats.

The state of Florida uses this definition:

"Domestic animal shall include any equine or bovine animal, goat, sheep, swine, dog, cat, poultry, or other domesticated beast or bird."

While some people do initially think of pets when they hear the term "domesticated animal," (as do some dictionaries) the definition can expand beyond pets such as cats and dogs.

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Thanks! But what would you think of if you heard someone say he or she worked in a 'Domestic Animal Food Production Company'? Would you be surprised if you later found out it was a livestock feed production firm? – Mohammad Sanei Feb 15 '13 at 21:33
Domestic and domesticated are not entirely the same. – TimLymington Feb 15 '13 at 21:37
@Tim: I'm no livestock breeder, or pet store owner, so I won't argue with you. But I will mention that some dictionaries seem to blur the line. To Mohammad: I wouldn't be shocked. – J.R. Feb 15 '13 at 21:48

"domestic' means animals that humans have had over the thousands of years, like dogs/cats. Cattle might be included but if unsure, it's better to refer to them as livestock to avoid confusion.

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I filed an immigration application to Canada and then I noticed that the certified translator had translated into English the name of the company I worked in as a 'Domestic Animal Food Production Company' which was in fact a livestock feed production firm. I can't change the translation because it has been filed. I would like to know if there is any chance that could mean the same thing or should I have all the translation done over and file an update (which is very difficult)? – Mohammad Sanei Feb 15 '13 at 21:10
@MohammadSanei, Dogs and cats are not generally referred to as being "produced." To me, Domestic Animal Production Company means the company deals with livestock (such as cattle or hogs). Maybe your bigger concern is that your firm actually dealt with feed for livestock and not with the animals themselves?? – JLG Feb 15 '13 at 21:17
@JLG Sorry that was 'Domestic Animal Food Production'. I just edited it. So you mean it's easily understandable? It's not problematic? – Mohammad Sanei Feb 15 '13 at 21:21
@MohammadSanei, "Domestic animal production" almost invariably refers to livestock production. Google it and see for yourself. It probably would have been more correct for the translation to be "Domestic Animal Feed Production Company" because you're talking about a company that makes the feed for livestock ... correct? As it is stated, it could be interpreted that the firm produced food out of domestic animals (like a packing plant), instead of making feed for livestock. This is probably a question you should ask the application office. – JLG Feb 15 '13 at 21:37

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