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Moral values and attitudes toward Dutch sow husbandry

By T. J. Bergstra, B. Gremmen, E. N. Stassen

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Attitudes toward sow husbandry differ between citizens and conventional pig farmers. Research showed that moral values could only predict the judgment of people in case of culling healthy animals in the course of a disease epidemic to a certain extent. Therefore, we hypothesized that attitudes of citizens and pig farmers cannot be predicted one-on-one by moral values. Furthermore, we were interested in getting insight in whether moral values can be useful in bridging the gap between attitudes toward sow husbandry of citizens and pig farmers. Based on a questionnaire, it was found that pig farmers and citizens, when considered as one group, shared the valuation of most moral values. However, when studying the four clusters of citizens with different attitudes toward sow husbandry, determined in a previous study, a variation in valuation of the moral values between the clusters of citizens and farmers came to the fore. This means that moral values are interpreted differently by groups of people when forming attitudes toward sow husbandry. The results of our study give an indication of which moral values are weighed differently between clusters of citizens and pig farmers. This information can be useful in future research on attitudes toward animal husbandry in order to understand why attitudes differ between groups of people. Besides, our results can be useful for the pig sector and citizens to learn to understand each other's attitudes. With this understanding it is possible to invest in a husbandry system that can build on societal support.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 28
Issue 2
Pages 375-401
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9539-x
Author Address Department of Social Sciences, Chair Group Business Economics, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN, Wageningen,
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal husbandry
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animals
  4. Attitudes
  5. Culling
  6. Developed countries
  7. Europe
  8. Farms
  9. Mammals
  10. morality
  11. Netherlands
  12. OECD countries
  13. open access
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Pigs
  16. sows
  17. Suiformes
  18. ungulates
  19. vertebrates
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed