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Title: Production diseases and farm animal welfare : what do the public think?
Author: Clark, Beth
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2018
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The intensification of animal production has been associated with an increased incidence of production diseases, which can negatively impact upon farm animal welfare (FAW). While there is considerable research focused on public attitudes towards improved FAW, it is not clear whether this relates specifically to a reduction in diseases related to animal production systems. This research therefore seeks to establish public attitudes towards FAW with a specific focus on production diseases, and whether the incidence of diseases and interventions associated with these represent a barrier to their increased use. Systematic review methodology combined with evidence synthesis was applied to integrate existing knowledge regarding consumer willingness-to-pay (WTP) for, and attitudes, towards FAW with a specific focus on the reduced incidence of animal production diseases. Four databases were searched and screened and identified 54 studies evaluating WTP and 80 studies investigating attitudes. Meta-regression based on random effects meta-analysis explored heterogeneity in WTP whilst a thematic analysis was used to explore attitudes towards FAW. An evidence-gap was highlighted in relation to attitudes towards and WTP for production diseases associated with the intensification of production, with only 7% of WTP and 26% of attitudes studies investigating aspects in relation to this, primarily in relation to antibiotic use. This evidence gap was used to inform a European survey (n=2,330) exploring risk-benefits associated with and acceptability of production diseases and associated interventions in intensive pig and poultry production systems. Several risks and benefits of both the systems and the interventions were identified, relating to both human and animal health concerns, with the most preferred interventions being those that were perceived as being more natural. Whilst legislation will ensure that these interventions will deliver safe food the results highlight the need for effective communication of the risks and benefits of the management practices within these systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: European Union's Seventh Framework Programme
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available