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Animals 2018, 8(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8010004

Private Animal Welfare Standards—Opportunities and Risks

1
Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 234, SE-53223 Skara, Sweden
2
Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7068, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
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Abstract

The current shift moves the governance of animal welfare away from the government towards the private market and the consumers. We have studied the intentions, content, and on-farm inspection results from different sets of animal welfare legislation and private standards with an aim to highlight the most important opportunities and risks identified in relation to the trend of increasingly relying on private standards for safeguarding or improving farm animal welfare. Our results show that different focuses, intentions, animal welfare requirements, inspection methods (i.e., methods for measuring and evaluating the compliance with a regulation), and inspection results, together with the use of vague wordings and a drive towards more flexible regulations does certainly not facilitate the interpretation and implementation of animal welfare regulations, especially not in relation to each other. Since farmers today often have to comply with several animal welfare regulations, including private standards, it is important to stress that a given regulation should never be seen as a single, stand-alone phenomenon, and the policymakers must hence consider the bigger picture, and apply the standards in relation to other existing regulations. This is especially relevant in relation to the legislation, a level that a private standard can never ignore. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; audit; compliance; inspection; legislation; official control; private market; private standard; regulation animal welfare; audit; compliance; inspection; legislation; official control; private market; private standard; regulation
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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Lundmark, F.; Berg, C.; Röcklinsberg, H. Private Animal Welfare Standards—Opportunities and Risks. Animals 2018, 8, 4.

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