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CAB eBooks

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 9 (Page no: 173)

Farm animal welfare: the future.

Science can help us understand what animals want and economics can provide the understanding of human motivation needed to deliver such wants. In our view, what needs further development in future is for economics and information/communication science and technology to channel awareness into appropriate action. This chapter elaborates on this idea by providing some illustrative examples. Focusing on animal health and welfare, it argues that there is much scope for improvement in profit and welfare on commercial farms simply by adopting the best disease management approach available. We also emphasize the importance of systems modelling and operations research (OR) in the future to ensure that animal welfare taps into the growing opportunities that developments in these methods are likely to bring. The chapter also argues that OR can provide a bridge between animal welfare science, economics and business to deliver improvements in animal welfare through food markets. The importance of big data and precision livestock farming in livestock production/reproduction, animal health and welfare, and the environmental impact of livestock production are also discussed. New genetic approaches to optimize livestock resilience and efficiency are highlighted. We argue that tackling difficult problems, such as sustainability (that encompasses animal welfare alongside environment and climate change), efficiency and resilience in farm animal production systems, is and will remain a vital focus of research in the agri-food sector. Research methods and governance still need to change to properly reflect this. It is envisaged that animal welfare will be affected by these developments and should, wherever appropriate, be explicitly considered.

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: 4 (Page no: 75) People's preferences in relation to animal welfare. Author(s): Bennett, R.
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.