Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 441439
Title Healthy, happy and humane: evidence in farm animal welfare policy
Author(s) Bock, B.B.; Buller, H.
Source Sociologia Ruralis 53 (2013)3. - ISSN 0038-0199 - p. 390 - 411.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/soru.12011
Department(s) Rural Sociology
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) dairy farms - lameness control - pig farmers - science - behavior - anthropomorphism - attitudes - society - communication - ambivalence
Abstract There has been a dramatic expansion and diversification of knowledge, expertise and expectation associated with farm animal welfare and we witness its increasing adoption within legislative and policy strategies. This article examines how the understanding of what constitutes farm animal welfare and how it should be enhanced, has shifted since it first entered the modern political arena in the sixties. It explores farm animal welfare as a critical and shifting area of imbrication of ‘science’ and ‘society’ and charts this process in particularly the UK and The Netherlands. We demonstrate how public and scientific debates about what constitutes animal welfare, what counts as evidence of animal suffering and how welfare enhancement should be encouraged, has unveiled the tensions underlying its construction as a policy problem between social and animal science, productivity and integrity, as well as production and consumption and has turned animal welfare into a matter of societal choice. The article unravels the social construction of animal welfare science and reveals its limited capability of delivering ‘facts’ or ‘evidence’ in any truly objective manner.
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