European pig farmers on animal welfare
The British Food Journal will publish three articles in
its next volume (Volume 109, Number 11) on the attitudes of Dutch, Italian and
French pig farmers to animal welfare.
The papers will focus on the main characteristics of animal welfare in each
country and will provide illustrations of good practice.
Dutch pig farmers
62 Dutch pig farmers, who are
participating in quality assurance schemes, were interviewed about animal
welfare, legislation, quality assurance schemes and animal-friendly
Two groups and trends were identified: farmers operating in price- and
production-efficient markets define animal welfare in terms of animal health and
zoo-technical performance. Farmers operating in a 'value-market' emphasising
animal welfare and care for the environment, tend to define animal welfare as
given the animals the room to express themselves.
The article provides a good insight into the willingness of Dutch pig farmers
to convert to animal-friendly production.
Italian pig farmers
Italian pig farmers were questioned
along the same lines as the Dutch farmers. However, the study is limited by the
relatively small amount of people interviewed. The value lies in that it is the
first time that pig farmers in Italy have expressed their opinion on animal
welfare in light of existing production schemes and legislation.
French pig farmers
60 French pig farmers were interviewed
for the purpose of this study.
The results showed that pig farmers in stringent quality assurance schemes
related animal welfare to providing natural living conditions for the
For farmers who do not participate in schemes, animal welfare means having a
healthy livestock with a balanced diet and good housing.
The study gives a good overview of attitudes towards public regulations and
private schemes for animal welfare.
Food Journal on Emerald Insight
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