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Animal welfare versus food quality: Factors influencing organic consumers' preferences for alternatives to piglet castration without anaesthesia

Heid, Astrid and Hamm, Ulrich (2013) Animal welfare versus food quality: Factors influencing organic consumers' preferences for alternatives to piglet castration without anaesthesia. Meat Science, 95 (2), pp. 203-211.

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Online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.04.052

Summary

Surgical piglet castration without pain relief has been banned in organic farming in the EU since the beginning of 2012. Alternative methods therefore need to be implemented that improve animal welfare and solve the underlying problem of boar taint. This paper explores German organic consumers' preferences for piglet castration without pain relief and three alternative methods. In an innovative approach using a multi-criteria decision making procedure, qualitative data from focus group discussions were compared with quantitative results from Vickrey auctions. Overall, participants preferred all alternatives to castration without pain relief. Different aspects influenced willingness-to-pay for the methods. Animal welfare was important for the evaluation of castration without pain relief and castration with anaesthesia. Food safety played a major role for willingness-to-pay for immunocastration, while taste and, to some extent, animal welfare were dominant factors for fattening of boars. These differences should be considered when communicating the alternatives.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:piglet castration, animal welfare, Vickrey auction, focus group discussions, willingness-to-pay, organic farming, BÖLN, BOELN, BÖL, BOEL, FKZ 08OE025
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Food systems > Markets and trade
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Research affiliation: Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN > Economics > Vermarktung
Germany > University of Kassel > Department of Agricultural- and Food Marketing
ISSN:0309-1740
Related Links:http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de, http://www.bundesprogramm.de/fkz=08OE025, http://orgprints.org/cgi/search/advanced?addtitle%2Ftitle=&keywords=08OE025&projects=BOEL&_order=bypublication&_action_search=Suchen
Deposited By: Heid, Astrid
ID Code:23893
Deposited On:01 Oct 2013 10:52
Last Modified:01 Oct 2013 10:52
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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