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Farmers under pressure. analysis of the social conditions of cases of animal neglect

By S. B. Andrade, I. Anneberg

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In this paper we analyse how risk factors in highly industrialised agriculture are connected to animal neglect. With Danish agriculture as a case study, we use two types of data. First, we use register data from Statistics Denmark to map how risk factors such as farmers' financial and social troubles are connected to convictions of neglect. Second, we analyse narratives where interviewed farmers, involved in cases of neglect, describe how they themselves experienced the incidents. We find that while livestock farmers in general have a low risk of animal neglect problems, a small percentage of them face severe financial difficulties, divorce and psychiatric problems, which are connected to an increased risk of being convicted for the neglect of farm animals. The narratives bring forward themes of pressure related to financial trouble, technological break down, family problems, stress and a growing concern among the farmers towards the governmental control in farm animal production. We discuss how these factors can be used to identify and help farmers with a high risk of being convicted of livestock neglect.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 27
Issue 1
Pages 103-126
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
DOI 10.1007/s10806-013-9456-9
Language English
Author Address SFI, The Danish National Centre for Social Research, Herluf Trolles Gade 11, 1052, Copenhagen,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal production
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Denmark
  4. Developed countries
  5. disintegration
  6. Europe
  7. Family
  8. Farms
  9. Livestock
  10. Livestock farming
  11. Mental disorders
  12. OECD countries
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. risk factors
  15. Scandinavia
  16. socioeconomics
  1. peer-reviewed