Willingness to pay: Australian consumers and "on the farm" welfare.

  • Taylor N
  • Signal T
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Abstract

The success of welfare legislation for nonhuman animals rests upon primary producer compliance that, in turn, is affected by public willingness to pay (WTP) for such initiatives. Although the topic of the welfare of animals on farms (and relevant legislation) is becoming increasingly important to the Australian public, there remain relatively few recent assessments of the variables that may affect WTP and, therefore, support initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of animals living on farms. This study surveyed 1,224 community members in Queensland, Australia. The study assessed respondents' self-rated knowledge of, and concern regarding, farm animal welfare. In addition, the survey asked respondents how much more they would be prepared to pay for animal-based products to ensure that they came from a source where the Five Freedoms were met. Although self-rated knowledge and level of concern were found to affect WTP, the study found only concern for farm animal welfare actually predicted consumer behavior. Further analyses showed a potential confound between knowledge levels and locality. This article discusses the implications of this for future initiatives to increase WTP.

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