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Volume 15 Issue 3 (2007)

Animal Welfare According to Norwegian Consumers and Producers: Definitions and Implications                                  74-90

Authors: Guro Ådnegard Skarstad(a), Laura Terragni(b) and Hanne Torjusen(b)
Affiliation: (a)Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Oslo, Norway; (b)National Institute for Consumer Research, Oslo, Norway

Abstract             PDF

The objective of this article is to present the definitions of animal welfare that emerged from a qualitative study of Norwegian consumers and producers. Two questions are discussed: 1) How do consumers and producers define good farm animal welfare? 2) How do consumers and producers view the role of animal welfare regulations and labelling? Results from this study suggest that these two groups share fundamental values underpinning their conceptions. For both consumers and producers, a good life for farm animals tends to be a negotiation between care, freedom and economy. Drawing upon the theoretical discussion of how food quality attributes are established in alternative food networks and through increased regulations, we suggest that animal welfare regulations and food labelling may change producers’ and consumers’ definitions of animal welfare. This may lead to a shift of focus from 'well-treated farm animals' to a more abstract and standardised notion, where animals are perceived as 'well-produced food commodities'.

International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Published by Michigan State University

Official publication of the Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food (RC-40)
of the International Sociological Association (ISA)

Editors: Raymond Jussaume, Claire Marris and Katerina Psarikidou

Frequency: 3 issues per year 
ISSN: 0798-1759