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Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Meat Chicken Production and Relations to Consumption

Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland 4343, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marina von Keyserlingk
Animals 2017, 7(3), 20;
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
PDF [1007 KB, uploaded 9 March 2017]


Little is known about public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds’ welfare and consumer behaviour. We interviewed 506 members of the public in SE Queensland; Australia; to determine how knowledge of meat chicken production and slaughter links to attitudes and consumption. Knowledge was assessed from 15 questions and low scores were supported by respondents’ self-assessed report of low knowledge levels and agreement that their knowledge was insufficient to form an opinion about which chicken products to purchase. Older respondents and single people without children were most knowledgeable. There was uncertainty about whether chicken welfare was adequate, particularly in those with little knowledge. There was also evidence that a lack of empathy towards chickens related to lack of knowledge, since those that thought it acceptable that some birds are inadequately stunned at slaughter had low knowledge scores. More knowledgeable respondents ate chicken more frequently and were less likely to buy products with accredited labelling. Approximately half of the respondents thought the welfare of the chicken was more important than the cost. It is concluded that the public’s knowledge has an important connection to their attitudes and consumption of chicken. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; attitudes; chicken; knowledge; consumption; poultry animal welfare; attitudes; chicken; knowledge; consumption; poultry

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Erian, I.; Phillips, C.J.C. Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Meat Chicken Production and Relations to Consumption. Animals 2017, 7, 20.

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