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Production costs and animal welfare for four stylized hog production systems

By L. Seibert, F. B. Norwood

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Abstract

Nonhuman animal welfare is arguably the most contentious issue facing the hog industry. Animal advocacy groups influence the regulation of hog farms and induce some consumers to demand more humane pork products. Hog producers are understandably reluctant to improve animal well being unless the premium they extract exceeds the corresponding increase in cost. To better understand the relationship between animal welfare and production costs under different farm systems, this study investigates 4 stylized hog production systems. The results show that increasing animal welfare for all hogs in the United States will increase retail pork prices by a maximum of 2% for a small welfare increase and 5% for a large welfare increase. The cost of banning gestation crates measured by this study is lower than the consumer willingness-to-pay from other studies.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 14
Issue 1
Pages 1-17
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2011.527596
Language English
Author Address Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, 426 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.bailey.norwood@okstate.edu
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Tags
  1. Animal husbandry
  2. Animal reproduction
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. APEC countries
  7. Consumers
  8. Costs
  9. Developed countries
  10. Economics
  11. Gestation
  12. Livestock farming
  13. Mammals
  14. Meat.
  15. Meat animals
  16. Meat production
  17. North America
  18. OECD countries
  19. peer-reviewed
  20. pig farming
  21. Pigs
  22. pork
  23. pregnancy
  24. prices
  25. Production
  26. regulations
  27. Research
  28. Studies
  29. Suiformes
  30. Swine
  31. ungulates
  32. United States of America
  33. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed