Research suggests that improvements in animal welfare do not decrease farm income

A new study published in the journal Animal Welfare finds that improvements in pig welfare do not automatically change public opinion or decrease farm income.
calendar icon 22 December 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

The results showed that the effects of the measures to improve animal welfare in pig farming were different for animal welfare, farm income and public attitudes. The most efficient combined measure in terms of welfare (straw provision, daylight and increased group size for gestating sows) still had a rather low effect on public attitudes. In effect, this means that the level of improvement of a measure on animal welfare did not necessarily equate to the same level of improvement in public attitudes or change in farm income.

The study was carried out in the Netherlands, one of the major and most influential pig industries worldwide. Co-author of the study Dr Tamara Bergstra said: Our findings indicate that it is essential to use a more comprehensive approach for evaluating animal welfare measures that integrate animal welfare, farm income and public attitudes.” This study is a first step to disentangle these relationships.

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