Australian Consumers' Awareness of Animal Production

Sally Healy, University, My, Georgette Burns
Changes in animal production over the last several decades, whilst enabling a reliable supply of animal-based protein, have caused concern among consumers and stakeholders within the food industry regarding the impacts of farming on animal welfare, the environment, and human health. Many people consider animal welfare a public good, yet the role of government intervention to protect it is limited and therefore market forces are currently acting as the major driver of improvements to welfare
more » ... dards. It is important to understand consumer attitudes towards animal welfare and whether concerns and preferences are directly translated into purchasing behaviours and demand for higher welfare products. Consumers receive information about animal welfare from a wide range of sources yet the capacity for information to change attitudes, beliefs, and purchasing behaviours remains undetermined. This dissertation presents an examination into consumer awareness of, and attitudes towards, farm animal welfare in Australia. Through questionnaires, a quasi-experimental study, and stakeholder interviews, I collected quantitative and qualitative data to inform an analysis of consumer and stakeholder perspectives of the farm animal welfare issues resulting from intensive production. A questionnaire completed by 894 people (chapter three) was utilised to determine the current level of awareness that consumers have of farming in Australia among other variables of interest such as concern for animal welfare, product preferences, attitudes, and social climate. Responses were collected using online and mail sampling. The quasi-experimental component of this dissertation (chapter four) analysed the change in key variables pertaining to consumer decision-making over time across a sample of 106 participants. The participants were provided information on the labelling standards, animal welfare, and environmental and health impacts of modern farming systems. Subsequently, they provided feedback on the effect of this information both directly [...]
doi:10.25904/1912/3241 fatcat:xoj5s5t4v5gyldo4trxzpz5hsy