FPJ1203G - Coleman, G et al. (2015), Public Attitudes Relevant to Livestock Animal Welfare Policy

FPJ1203G - Coleman, G et al. (2015), Public Attitudes Relevant to Livestock Animal Welfare Policy

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FPJ1203G – Coleman, G et al. (2015), Public Attitudes Relevant to Livestock Animal Welfare Policy, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, Spring 2015, pp. 45-57, Surry Hills, Australia.

Rising concerns for animal welfare standards from consumers have started to change the way we produce and purchase meat products. Engaging in public forums has become a popular way to express individual and community views on animal welfare, regardless of whether it is in support of, or in opposition to various aspects of livestock farming. These behaviours and the public opinions driving them can have a considerable influence on how governments either react to publicised ‘animal welfare events’ or regulate contentious management practices. Furthermore, community concerns and behaviours also impact on how governments react to animal welfare events and more broadly on the livestock industry’s social licence to practice. Animal welfare issues together with issues relating to climate change, water scarcity, and declining biodiversity all threaten farmers’ social licence to farm. This paper highlights the distrust in the community about management of farm animals, and suggests the need for appropriate interventions and monitoring processes to be developed. On the other hand, the paper illustrates the mismatch between the community’s perceived and actual knowledge of livestock practices.

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