The pig sector is struggling with negative attitudes of citizens. This may be the result of conflicting attitudes toward pig husbandry between citizens and other stakeholders. To obtain knowledge about these attitudes, the objectives of this study were (1) to determine and compare attitudes of various stakeholders toward animals, humans and the environment in the context of pig husbandry and (2) to determine and compare the acceptability of publically discussed issues related to pig husbandry of various stakeholders. A questionnaire was distributed to citizens, conventional pig farmers, organic pig farmers, pig husbandry advisors and pig veterinarians. Respondents could indicate their attitude toward aspects related to animals, humans and the environment in the context of pig husbandry and they could indicate their opinion about the acceptability of issues of pig husbandry, e.g. piglet mortality and inside pig housing. Based on measured attitudes and the acceptability of issues, the studied stakeholders could be divided into three distinctive groups. The group of citizens and organic pig farmers showed negative attitudes toward all aspects of pig husbandry, the group of conventional pig farmers and pig husbandry advisors only showed negative attitudes toward aspects related to economics and the group of pig veterinarians showed negative attitudes to specific aspects of pig husbandry. This indicates that stakeholders have different interests and different perspectives with regard to pig husbandry. The pig sector should learn to understand citizens’ perspectives and take these into account in their line of work, the implementation of animal welfare measures and in their communication.
- Pig husbandry