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 550866
Title The Trade-Off Between Chicken Welfare and Public Health Risks in Poultry Husbandry: Significance of Moral Convictions
Author(s) Asselt, M. van; Ekkel, E.D.; Kemp, B.; Stassen, E.N.
Source Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (2019)2. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 293 - 319.
Department(s) Adaptation Physiology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Animal welfare - Moral convictions - Poultry husbandry - Public health - Stakeholder views

Welfare-friendly outdoor poultry husbandry systems are associated with potentially higher public health risks for certain hazards, which results in a dilemma: whether to choose a system that improves chicken welfare or a system that reduces these public health risks. We studied the views of citizens and poultry farmers on judging the dilemma, relevant moral convictions and moral arguments in a practical context. By means of an online questionnaire, citizens (n = 2259) and poultry farmers (n = 100) judged three practical cases, which illustrate the dilemma of improving chicken welfare or reducing public health risks for Campylobacter, avian influenza and dioxin. Furthermore, they scored the importance of moral arguments and to what extend they agreed with moral convictions related to humans and chickens. Citizens were more likely than farmers to choose a system that benefits chicken welfare at the expense of public health. These different judgments could be explained by differing moral convictions and valuations of moral arguments. Judgments of citizens and farmers were associated with moral arguments and convictions, predominantly with those regarding the value of chickens and naturalness. Citizens agreed stronger with moral convictions regarding the intrinsic value of chickens and regarding naturalness than farmers did, while farmers agreed stronger with conviction regarding fairness. We argue that opinions of citizens and farmers are context-dependent, which may explain the differences between these groups. It implies that opinions of different stakeholder groups should be considered in order to achieve successful innovations in poultry husbandry, which are supported by society.

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