Elicitation of preferences of Dutch broiler and pig farmers to support decision making on animal welfare

Éva Gocsik*, Ivo A. van der Lans, Alfons Oude Lansink, Helmut W. Saatkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Conjoint analysis was conducted to elicit Dutch broiler and fattening pig farmers’ preferences about different characteristics of production systems, with primary interest in farmers’ intrinsic motivation towards animal welfare (AW). A cluster analysis was carried out to identify distinct groups of farmers with homogeneous preferences. The results showed that farmers preferred conventional practices and had negative preferences towards free-range systems. Two clusters of broiler farmers were distinguished. The ‘Free-range opposed’ cluster evaluated a production system by focusing on a single aspect, the provision of free-range access, while the ‘Multi-attribute focused’ cluster included multiple attributes in their evaluation. In the case of fattening pig farmers, no clusters could be identified. Results showed that farmers do not have a strong intrinsic motivation to switch to a system with higher animal welfare standards. It is therefore likely that the level of on-farm AW will be determined by external and farm-specific factors, and that higher levels of AW will only be achieved if these factors are favorable for the adoption of these production systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Broiler production
  • Conjoint analysis
  • Farming systems
  • Pig production
  • Preferences.


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