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Stakeholder attitudes toward farm animal welfare

By C. R. Heleski, A. G. Mertig, A. J. Zanella

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We developed a survey to measure attitudes toward farm animal welfare, then targeted two US groups considered highly influential in this area: veterinary college faculty members with large animal/food animal emphasis (VCF) and animal science faculty members (ANS). The survey was conducted via e-mail. E-mail addresses were gathered from 58 animal science departments and 27 veterinary college websites. Our respondents consisted of 446 ANS and 157 VCF In general, VCF had more empathetic attitudes toward farm animal welfare than did ANS. Both groups expressed greater comfort with the current production systems for beef and sheep than for meat birds and layers; dairy and swine were viewed intermediately. When asked about 15 specific husbandry practices/outcomes, more than 80% of our respondents agreed that three of these issues were concerns - flooring effects on lameness in intensively farmed animals, levels of lameness in dairy cattle, and poor/indifferent stockmanship. Four issues had less than 50% agreement - early weaning in pigs, lack of foraging substrate for pigs, beak trimming in poultry and toe trimming in poultry. Several background variables showed significant relationships with our summed attitude scale scores: females were more concerned about farm animal welfare than were males (p

Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 19
Issue 4
Pages 290-307
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
Publisher Bloomsbury Journals (formerly Berg Journals)
DOI 10.2752/089279306785415439
Language English
Author Address Animal Behavior and Welfare Group, Department of Animal Science, Anthony Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824,
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal rights
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Attitudes
  5. Birds
  6. Bovidae
  7. Broilers
  8. Capra
  9. Cattle
  10. Chickens
  11. Consumers
  12. Developed countries
  13. Domesticated birds
  14. Floors
  15. Fowls
  16. Goats
  17. Humans
  18. Lameness
  19. Livestock
  20. Mammals
  21. Men
  22. North America
  23. OECD countries
  24. peer-reviewed
  25. Pigs
  26. Poultry
  27. Primates
  28. Religions
  29. Ruminants
  30. sex differences
  31. Sheep
  32. stocking density
  33. stocking rates
  34. Suiformes
  35. surveys
  36. Swine
  37. teachers
  38. traditions
  39. ungulates
  40. United States of America
  41. vertebrates
  42. Veterinarians
  43. Veterinary surgery
  44. weaning
  1. peer-reviewed