Do Romanian Farmers and Consumers Have Different Views on Farm Animal Welfare Issues?
Keywords:farm animal welfare, farmers, consumers, Romania
The study was carried out on farmers and consumers from the Western Romania, using the questionnaires developed within the framework of WELANIMAL project in year 2009. The aim of this paper was to identify if there are any differences between the two social categories regarding the issues of farm animal welfare. A number of seven common questions were indentified in the questionnaires of farmers and consumers, and a comparative study between these categories was conducted. Farmers considered that dairy cows (70.1%), laying hens (46.8%) and pigs (24.7%) need their current welfare level to be improved, while consumers considered that the welfare status of all the farm animal species mentioned in the questionnaire needed to improved. Both farmers and consumers considered that sometimes or very rarely could find information about the rearing system on the labels of animal products. Farmers believed that EU legislation exists mostly for farm animal transportation (34.8%) and slaughtering (30.5%), while consumers considered that EU legislation exists for slaughtering (34.8%) and rearing conditions (32.8%). Both farmers and consumers considered that in Romania the animal welfare/protection receives not enough importance (61.3% and 77.4%, respectively), while in the EU this is better than in other parts of the world (46.7% and 50%, respectively). It was concluded that farmers and consumers have either similar of divergent views on specific issues of farm animal welfare.
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