This article seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the factors that influence farmers' relations with animals and focuses on the relevance of sector (e.g. beef or dairy cattle), animal species, housing systems and any national differences. It seeks to draw out how the relationship between farmers and their animals is influenced by the context of daily caring practice. It uses Wilkie's framework of attachment as it is derived from practice and recognizes the importance of the paradoxical aspects of farmer-animal relations that are simultaneously emotional and professional. While Wilkie compared how professional and recreational farmers related to their cattle (and in some cases sheep), we concentrate here on professional farmers but compare differences between species, sectors and husbandry systems. In this way we hope to generate more insight into those aspects of production systems that can be strengthened in order to ensure positive human-animal relations, for the sake of both animal welfare as well as farmers' quality of life.
|Publication Title||International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food|
|Author Address||Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen, Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org|
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