EU animal welfare policy: Developing a comprehensive policy framework

P.T.M. Ingenbleek, V.M. Immink, H.A.M. Spoolder, M.H. Bokma-Bakker, L.J. Keeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Many EU citizens are concerned about animal welfare. The policy literature has responded to these concerns by suggesting a variety of policy instruments to policy makers. However, a gap in knowledge exists regarding which instrument should be applied under which conditions in the policy environment. This article presents the results of multiple inductive case studies of eight European countries to better understand the contingencies to animal welfare policy instruments and to further complement the framework of policy instruments available to policy makers. The qualitative evidence from this study is presented in the form of a policy decision tree indicating instruments likely to be effective under given conditions. The findings suggest that a “one size fits all” solution for animal welfare in the EU is unlikely to be effective and that although a market-based policy within the current EU context is in many cases inevitable, the barriers are numerous and require policy instruments tailored to the specific context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-699
JournalFood Policy
Issue number2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • animal welfare
  • animal production
  • politics
  • consumers
  • european union
  • policy
  • livestock production
  • attitudes
  • meat


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