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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, USA.Heleski@msu.edu
Cite this work

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. Floors
  14. Fowls
  15. Goats
  16. Humans
  17. Lameness
  18. Livestock
  19. Mammals
  20. Men
  21. North America
  22. OECD countries
  23. peer-reviewed
  24. Pigs
  25. Poultry
  26. Primates
  27. Religions
  28. Ruminants
  29. sex differences
  30. Sheep
  31. stocking density
  32. stocking rates
  33. Suiformes
  34. surveys
  35. Swine
  36. teachers
  37. traditions
  38. ungulates
  39. United States of America
  40. vertebrates
  41. Veterinarians
  42. Veterinary surgery
  43. weaning
  1. peer-reviewed