This study involving (non-invasive) experiments with hens found no compelling evidence that they prefer the company of other specific hens. However, the findings suggest that there may be a preference among some hens when it comes to night-time perching. The study has implications for how hens are treated and confined by egg farmers, including the use of battery cages compared with group housing.
This study by researchers at Purdue University found that 14% of U.S. consumers have reduced their pork consumption by more than half (on average) due to animal welfare concerns. This is despite the fact that more than half report having no source of information for animal welfare and nearly 75% have not seen any news related to pig welfare. The findings show a disconnect between consumers and animal farming - a third of respondents had never visited such a farm.
This paper describes the proceedings from a workshop on the true costs of food and summarizes dozens of presentations from scholars and experts on related topics. The presentations cover a wide range of health, social, environmental costs that are inherent in modern agriculture but not reflected in food prices. The authors also discuss the concept of "externalities" in general and debate whether or not they are the best way to frame the problem.
This literature review evaluates various indicators of pain for different species of farmed animals, concluding that some indicators may be useful to identify pain while others identify stress in general. The researchers found a lack of emphasis on identifying pain among farmed animals, with "several" such indicators for mammals, "a few" for birds, and "very few" indicators for fish. The paper calls for more research to validate new indicators for pain assessment.
This paper analyses the political economy of animal welfare products. The authors examine the role of the government in subsidizing animal welfare products, consumers' willingness to pay for these products and current literature addressing these issues. They argue that rather than subsidizing the supply of such products, such as through subsidies to farmers, governments might be better to influence the demand for such products via subsidies for the purchase of animal welfare products.
"Semi-ownership" of nonhuman animals refers to caring for a companion animal by feeding or caring for it but not "owning" him/her. For example, regularly feeding or getting medical care for a stray dog or cat. This study examined Thai citizens who engage in semi-ownership of cats and dogs and investigated how many sterilized the animals they cared for and what demographic characteristics are correlated to spaying/ neutering these animals.
Grocery stores in three European countries where horse meat is consumed-Belgium, France and the Netherlands-were surveyed to determine its availability. Horse meat was found in a majority of the stores surveyed. Though it is often sold as a whole product it is not always clearly labeled and may be one of many products in cheap processed foods.
Accidents involving vehicles transporting livestock animals in Spain were analyzed to determine the nature of the accidents and outcomes. Human injuries were rare and a majority (64%) of all accidents involved the transport vehicle overturning, with no other vehicle involved. Most accidents involved pigs being transported, making this a particularly vulnerable population in need of attention for those advocates dealing with animal welfare concerns.
Samples of pig meat were taken from grocery stores in six U.S. cities and were tested for various bacterias and drugs. Bacteria found in over 80% of the samples were resistant to antibiotics used to treat people. Further 20% of the products tested had a growth hormone, ractopamine, present. Though it was in low enough levels to be legal, this product has been banned for human health concerns in China, the European Union, and Taiwan.
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