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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Animals 2016, 6(11), 74; doi:10.3390/ani6110074

What We Know about the Public’s Level of Concern for Farm Animal Welfare in Food Production in Developed Countries

1
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2
Charles Perkins Centre and School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [237 KB, uploaded 16 November 2016]

Abstract

Population growth and rising consumption of meat, dairy, eggs and fish are forcing the world to face the intersecting challenges of how to sustainably feed a population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, while also controlling the impact of food production on the planet, on people and on animals. This review acknowledges the absence of a globally accepted definition of animal welfare and then explores the literature regarding different levels of concern for animal welfare in food production by such stakeholders as veterinarians, farmers, and the general public. It focuses on the evidence that the general public’s level of concern for animal welfare is linked to various demographic and personal characteristics, such as age, gender, religion, location, meat eating, and knowledge of animal welfare. Certain animals have characteristics that influence concern for their welfare, with those species that are considered more intelligent being afforded more concern. There is compelling evidence that the general public’s understanding of animal welfare in food production is poor. Acknowledging that public concern can be a driving force to change current production methods, the authors suggest widespread consciousness raising to redefine socially acceptable methods of food production from animals and to ensure that it remains in step with societal concerns. View Full-Text
Keywords: production animal welfare; animal sentience; concern for animal welfare; public knowledge production animal welfare; animal sentience; concern for animal welfare; public knowledge
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cornish, A.; Raubenheimer, D.; McGreevy, P. What We Know about the Public’s Level of Concern for Farm Animal Welfare in Food Production in Developed Countries. Animals 2016, 6, 74.

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