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Consumer attitudes towards production diseases in intensive production systems

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Beth ClarkORCiD, Dr Luca Panzone, Dr Gavin Stewart, Professor Ilias Kyriazakis, Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Many members of the public and important stakeholders operating at the upper end of the food chain, may be unfamiliar with how food is produced, including within modern animal production systems. The intensification of production is becoming increasingly common in modern farming. However, intensive systems are particularly susceptible to production diseases, with potentially negative consequences for farm animal welfare (FAW). Previous research has demonstrated that the public are concerned about FAW, yet there has been little research into attitudes towards production diseases, and their approval of interventions to reduce these. This research explores the public’s attitudes towards, and preferences for, FAW interventions in five European countries (Finland, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK). An online survey was conducted for broilers (n = 789), layers (n = 790) and pigs (n = 751). Data were analysed by means of Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA, exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. The results suggest that the public have concerns regarding intensive production systems, in relation to FAW, naturalness and the use of antibiotics. The most preferred interventions were the most “proactive” interventions, namely improved housing and hygiene measures. The least preferred interventions were medicine-based, which raised humane animal care and food safety concerns amongst respondents. The results highlighted the influence of the identified concerns, perceived risks and benefits on attitudes and subsequent behavioural intention, and the importance of supply chain stakeholders addressing these concerns in the subsequent communications with the public.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark B, Panzone LA, Stewart GB, Kyriazakis I, Niemi JK, Latvala T, Tranter R, Jones P, Frewer LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLOS One

Year: 2019

Volume: 14

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 10/01/2019

Acceptance date: 21/12/2018

Date deposited: 11/02/2019

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210432

Notes: Gold open access


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