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Private Animal Welfare Standards—Opportunities and Risks

By Frida Lundmark, Charlotte Berg, Helena Rockilnsberg

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The current shift moves the governance of animal welfare away from the government towards the private market and the consumers. We have studied the intentions, content, and on-farm inspection results from different sets of animal welfare legislation and private standards with an aim to highlight the most important opportunities and risks identified in relation to the trend of increasingly relying on private standards for safeguarding or improving farm animal welfare. Our results show that different focuses, intentions, animal welfare requirements, inspection methods (i.e., methods for measuring and evaluating the compliance with a regulation), and inspection results, together with the use of vague wordings and a drive towards more flexible regulations does certainly not facilitate the interpretation and implementation of animal welfare regulations, especially not in relation to each other. Since farmers today often have to comply with several animal welfare regulations, including private standards, it is important to stress that a given regulation should never be seen as a single, stand-alone phenomenon, and the policymakers must hence consider the bigger picture, and apply the standards in relation to other existing regulations. This is especially relevant in relation to the legislation, a level that a private standard can never ignore.


Katie Osborn

Date 2018
Publication Title Animals
Volume 8
Issue 1
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Location of Publication Basel, Switzerland
DOI 10.3390/ani8010004
URL http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/8/1/4
Language English
Additional Language English
  1. Animal welfare
  2. Assessment
  3. Farms
  4. Markets
  5. regulations