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Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

The economics of farm animal welfare: theory, evidence and policy.

Book cover for The economics of farm animal welfare: theory, evidence and policy.


This book contains 9 chapters that discuss some of the latest developments in economic research that are relevant to animal welfare and related policy development, including the evolution of animal welfare as a branch of animal science; animal welfare from an economic theory perspective; consumer demand and related quantitative methods such as willingness to pay; economics of production; supply si...


Chapter 4 (Page no: 75)

People's preferences in relation to animal welfare.

People may have preferences in relation to products and services that they perceive to have animal welfare attributes. People may also have preferences in relation to different welfare states, standards and treatment of animals. Human empathy with animals is a potential source of utility (e.g. the pleasure from seeing animals playing) and disutility (e.g. the distress caused if we perceive an animal is suffering). We may derive satisfaction from moral preferences for how animals are treated regardless of this empathy. There are many animal-derived products for consumers to purchase in markets but little information on the welfare of the animals that produced them in order for consumers to make choices consistent with their animal welfare preferences. People's preferences can be ascertained by observations of their behaviour and the choices they make, and by asking people what their preferences are. Two research case studies are presented. There is a need for welfare advocacy on behalf of animals. This stewardship role must be informed by scientific evidence on animal sentience, preferences and welfare status. Government or an alternative body acting on behalf of society must take up the role to represent societal animal welfare preferences and act as custodians to protect the welfare of animals.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Farm animal welfare: origins, and interplay with economics and policy. Author(s): Lawrence, A. Vigors, B.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 30) Farm animal welfare: do free markets fail to provide it? Author(s): Hubbard, C. Clark, B. Harvey, D.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 53) Consumer demand for animal welfare products. Author(s): Akaichi, F. Revoredo-Giha, C.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 98) Animal welfare and farm economics: an analysis of costs and benefits. Author(s): Niemi, J. K.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 117) Poultry breeding for sustainability and welfare. Author(s): Neeteson, A. M. AvendaƱo, S. Koerhuis, A.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 147) EU regulations and the current position of animal welfare. Author(s): Broom, D. M.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 156) Animal welfare measures and the WTO Post-EC - seal products case: a renewed debate and research agenda. Author(s): MacIel, C. Bock, B.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 173) Farm animal welfare: the future. Author(s): Stott, A. Ahmadi, B. V.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2020
  • ISBN
  • 9781786392312
  • Record Number
  • 20203308010