Measuring farmers' attitudes to animal welfare and health

  • Hansson H
  • Lagerkvist C
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Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this study was to develop a behavioural framework for developing a scale to measure farmers' attitudes to animal welfare and health and to take an explorative approach to initiating development of such a scale.\r
Design/methodology/approach - A literature review was used to develop the behavioural framework. Exploratory factor analysis was then used to initiate development of a measurement scale, based on a sample of 108 Swedish livestock farmers.\r
Findings - Based on the framework developed, the authors' data suggest unidimensionality of farmers' attitudes to animal welfare and health; and that farmers perceive animal welfare as being about animal health and comfort in particular.\r
Research limitations/implications - Further research should be devoted to this area to develop a more final measurement scale. This could be done by re-evaluating the scale obtained in this paper in both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis settings. The behavioural framework proposed here provides a basis for such scale development and a more rigid framework for evaluating and comparing farmers' attitudes to animal welfare.\r
Practical implications - The behavioural framework and scale development initiated in this paper can be used by policymakers and organizations responsible for quality assurance schemes to develop policy measures and education programmes to re-train farmers' behaviour into a system that supports higher animal welfare and health standards.\r
Originality/value - The originality of this paper is that it develops and uses a behavioural framework based on psychological and psychometric theory to initiate development of a scale to measure farmers' attitudes to animal welfare and health.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Animal health
  • Animal welfare
  • Behaviour
  • Factor analysis
  • Psychometrics

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