Farmers Want to Talk to Consumers about Welfare09 June 2010
UK - About one-quarter of pig farmers surveyed were proud of their productivity and welfare. More than half wanted to tell consumers about the welfare of their pigs, and would be willing to participate in a benchmarking scheme.
Siobhan Mullan of the University of Bristol and co-authors have published the results of a survey of pig producers about welfare in Veterinary Record.
Fifty-six pig farmers who attended a series of health seminars completed a questionnaire to assess their attitude to the inclusion of some welfare outcome assessments within farm assurance.
In answer to open questions, farmers were most commonly proud of the productivity (27.5 per cent) and welfare (23.5 per cent) of the pigs on their farm, and the welfare of pigs in the UK industry as a whole (26.1 per cent).
The most common thing that farmers wanted to tell consumers about was the welfare of the pigs (55.8 per cent), followed by their stockmanship qualities, the quality of their pig meat and the safety of their pig meat (all 13.5 per cent).
In answer to closed questions, 66 per cent of farmers stated they would be either quite willing or very willing to perform welfare self-assessments as part of farm assurance, and 66 per cent would be quite or very willing to be anonymously benchmarked on the welfare of their pigs.
Mullan S., A. Butterworth, H.R. Whay, S. Edwards and D.C. Main. 2010. Consultation of pig farmers on the inclusion of some welfare outcome assessments within UK farm assurance. Veterinary Record, 166 (22): 678-680.
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