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 494983
Title Premature culling of production animals; ethical questions related to killing animals in food production
Author(s) Bruijnis, M.R.N.; Meijboom, F.L.B.; Stassen, E.N.
Source In: The end of animal life: a start for ethical debate / E.N., Stassen, F.L.B., Meijboom, Wageningen, the Netherlands : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862603 - p. 149 - 166.
Department(s) Adaptation Physiology
Publication type Peer reviewed book chapter
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) animal welfare - longevity - production animals
Abstract The aim of this chapter is to analyse the importance of longevity in relation to the welfare of production animals. I hypothesize that the concept of longevity helps to support the moral intuition that premature culling of animals is a moral wrong. The analysis shows that the interpretation of the concept of animal welfare is important for decisions on whether or not to cull animals, but also for the measures that should be taken to prevent premature culling. This is illustrated by two examples in animal production, one example relating to dairy cattle and the other to breeding sows. These two types of farming have in common that in these practices animals are necessary to produce products, yet this production does not require– the animal itself to be killed. My proposal is to accept the view on animal welfare according to which longevity is accepted as an independent moral argument. Acceptance of this view substantiates the intuition that premature culling of animals is a moral wrong, because it shows that we have additional reasons to give the interests of animals more weight. In order to respect this view, some common practices in animal farming will become the subject of debate, as illustrated in the two cases.
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