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Factors Influencing Farmer Willingness to Reduce Aggression between Pigs

By Rachel S. E. Peden, Faical Akaichi, Irene Camerlink, Laura A. Boyle, Simon P. Turner

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Aggression between pigs remains an important animal welfare issue despite several solutions existing. Uptake of livestock welfare research relies on various stakeholders being willing to recommend or adopt changes to farm structure or management (e.g., veterinarians, researchers, farmers). This survey provides insight into the attitudes and practices of 122 UK and Irish pig farmers regarding aggression between growing pigs. Our aim was to understand why mitigation strategies are not adequately implemented. The majority of farmers mixed pigs at least once during production and had tried at least one mitigation strategy in the past. Farmers expressed limited willingness to implement strategies in the future, and a structural equation model revealed that this was directly influenced by their beliefs about the outcome of controlling aggression, and their perception of their ability to implement the necessary changes. Willingness was indirectly influenced by their perceptions of aggression as a problem and views of relevant stakeholder groups. Veterinarians had the greatest impact on farmer behavior. We recommend that researchers test research findings in practice, calculate cost-benefits of implementation, and transfer knowledge through various sources. This study showed that structural equation modeling is a valuable tool to understand farmer behavior regarding specific and entrenched animal welfare issues.

Submitter

Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2019
Publication Title Animals
Volume 9
Issue 1
Pages 19
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ani9010006
URL https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/1/6
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal welfare
  2. Decision making
  3. open access
  4. Pigs
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  1. open access