Moral Values and Attitudes Toward Dutch Sow Husbandry

T.J. Bergstra, H.G.J. Gremmen, E.N. Stassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Attitudes toward sow husbandry differ between citizens and conventional pig farmers. Research showed that moral values could only predict the judgment of people in case of culling healthy animals in the course of a disease epidemic to a certain extent. Therefore, we hypothesized that attitudes of citizens and pig farmers cannot be predicted one-on-one by moral values. Furthermore, we were interested in getting insight in whether moral values can be useful in bridging the gap between attitudes toward sow husbandry of citizens and pig farmers. Based on a questionnaire, it was found that pig farmers and citizens, when considered as one group, shared the valuation of most moral values. However, when studying the four clusters of citizens with different attitudes toward sow husbandry, determined in a previous study, a variation in valuation of the moral values between the clusters of citizens and farmers came to the fore. This means that moral values are interpreted differently by groups of people when forming attitudes toward sow husbandry. The results of our study give an indication of which moral values are weighed differently between clusters of citizens and pig farmers. This information can be useful in future research on attitudes toward animal husbandry in order to understand why attitudes differ between groups of people. Besides, our results can be useful for the pig sector and citizens to learn to understand each other’s attitudes. With this understanding it is possible to invest in a husbandry system that can build on societal support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-401
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • farm-animal-welfare
  • consumer concerns
  • pig farmers
  • market
  • ethics
  • agriculture
  • netherlands
  • stakeholder
  • perception
  • framework

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