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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 528724
Title Citizens perceive broiler welfare differently from poultry farmers and poultry veterinarians
Author(s) Asselt, Mariska van; Ekkel, E.D.; Kemp, B.; Stassen, E.N.
Source In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group Level. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863143 - p. 79 - 79.
Event Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086863143 7th International Conference on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group level, Ede, 2017-09-05/2017-09-08
Department(s) Adaptation Physiology
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2017
Abstract In society, questions have been raised about broiler welfare and about how broilers should be kept. Insight into perceptions of broiler welfare from different stakeholder groups could provide input how to deal with these public concerns. Therefore, a survey by means of a questionnaire was done to study broiler welfare perceptions by Dutch citizens (n=2,259), poultry farmers (n=100) and poultry veterinarians (n=41) in March and April 2014. A randomly selected panel of Dutch citizens, representative for the Netherlands, was invited to participate (CentERdata, the Netherlands). Farmers and veterinarians were invited by an email from their professional organisations. Respondents scored on five-point Likert scales (1) the welfare of broilers in a conventional, conventional plus, free-range and organic system (1=poor welfare, 5=excellent welfare), and (2) the influence of various welfare aspects on animal welfare (1=absolutely no influence, 5=absolutely does influence). Differences among mean scores of the stakeholder groups were analysed with ANOVA and the post-hoc Games-Howell test. Citizens perceived the welfare of broilers kept in the conventional (mean・}SE: 2.40・}0.023) and conventional plus (3.19・}0.020) systems lower (P<0.001) than did farmers (3.90・}0.119; 4.18・}0.110) and veterinarians (3.85・}0.129; 4.37・}0.115). However, farmers (2.82・}0.153) and veterinarians (3.12・}0.213) perceived broiler welfare in organic systems lower (P<0.001) than did citizens (4.33・}0.018). These differences in welfare scores could be explained by different perceptions of aspects of animal welfare. Compared to professionals, citizens perceived the influence on animal welfare of aspects related to natural behaviour – space to move around freely, natural needs, outdoor access, ad libitum feed and water, scratching and dust bathing opportunities, and enrichment – higher (P<0.05) and the influence of the aspects pain and anxiety or stress, lower (P<0.05). The biggest difference in scores between the stakeholder groups regarded the aspect outdoor access. These different perceptions of stakeholder groups may have consequences for the future of broiler husbandry.
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