Factors that Influence Farmers’ Views on Farm Animal Welfare: A Semi-Systematic Review and Thematic Analysis
School of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, D04 W6F6 Dublin 4, Ireland
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Received: 27 July 2020
Revised: 24 August 2020
Accepted: 25 August 2020
Published: 28 August 2020
Farm animal welfare is a complex issue linking several academic disciplines, including animal science, veterinary, psychology, sociology, and agricultural economics. Farmers are one of the key contributors for the successful implementation of improved animal welfare standards. This review presents findings from the last 30 years into the factors that influence farmers’ views on farm animal welfare. Using findings from single and multidisciplinary studies, this review highlights the factors that influence the farmers’ views of animal welfare. Overall this literature review aimed to ask two main questions “what do farmers think (farmer’s general view) about farm animal welfare?” and “what are the factors that influence their thinking?”. This review demonstrates that a deeper understanding of how farmers view and value animal welfare can lead to more effective development of collaborative knowledge transfer, policies, and management initiatives directed at maintaining healthy animals. This work may serve as a checklist to implement further studies on stakeholder perspectives on animal welfare. It also provides recommendations on technical approaches and strategies to improve best practice on farm animal welfare.