Citizens’ Evaluation of Animal Welfare on Pictures of Intensive Broiler Fattening: A Survey Experiment

Gesa Busch, Carolin Schwetje, Achim Spiller

Published: 01.09.2015  〉 Volume 64 (2015), Number 3, 131-147  〉 Resort: Articles 
Submitted: N. A.   〉 Feedback to authors after first review: N. A.   〉 Accepted: N. A.

ABSTRACT

Based on media discussion about animal production systems and animal welfare in Germany that mainly relies on pictures, this study analyses the citizen perception of intensive broiler fattening. In a survey experiment, five pictures from a 40,000 broiler barn were shown to citizens. The pictures were taken in the same barn but vary in age of the animals and stocking densities. The sample was split to avoid the five pictures from influencing the perception and each participant was shown only one picture. Overall, the evaluation of the pictures was very negative. Only the picture showing day-old-chicks was perceived as favorable (stocking density: 0.8 kg/m²). This is a challenge for the communication of animal welfare standards because the reductions, inter alia currently being discussed in science and politics of stocking densities were not perceived as an animal welfare advantage from a citizen perspective.
CONTACT AUTHOR
GESA BUSCH
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Department für Agrarökonomie und Rurale Entwicklung,
Marketing für Lebensmittel und Agrarprodukte
37073 Göttingen, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5
E-Mail: Gesa.Busch@agr.uni-goettingen.de
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