Pig welfare is a topic that concerns us all. However, although we all agree that pigs are entitled to be treated well, different stakeholder groups do not seem to agree in the way how that should be accomplished. This latter may be explained by possible differences in their frame of reference (as constructed by a person’s norms, values, knowledge, convictions and interests). Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate whether different stakeholder groups would assess pigs differently and whether that is related to differences in their frame of reference. Hereto, three stakeholder groups were selected of which two were classified as expert stakeholders, i.e. pig farmers (n=11) and pig scientists (n=18), and the other as lay-group, i.e. urban citizens (n=15). Stakeholders were asked to perform a qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA) in which they observed a pig in nine different videos and assigned a score to each video using 21 predefined terms such as ‘happy’ or ‘irritated’. In addition, stakeholders filled out two questionnaires in order to obtain information on their frame of reference. The QBA was analysed using principal component analysis and showed that the pig farmers had a more rosy view of the pigs than the urban citizens and pig scientists. This was evident from the consistently higher scores given by the farmers on the positive terms used to score the videos (P≤0.001). Furthermore, the questionnaires revealed that the stakeholders had a different frame of reference regarding pigs and a different understanding of welfare. For instance, rolling in mud was regarded more important to a pig’s happiness by the scientists and urban citizens than the farmers (P<0.01). In conclusion, differences in frame of reference may thus underlie differences in stakeholders’ view of pig welfare and that may consequently hamper the discussion on how to improve it.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the International conference on pig welfare - Improving pig welfare - what are the ways forward?|
|Place of Publication||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||International conference on pig welfare: Improving pig welfare - what are the ways forward? - Copenhagen, Denmark|
Duration: 29 Apr 2015 → 30 Apr 2015
|Conference||International conference on pig welfare: Improving pig welfare - what are the ways forward?|
|Period||29/04/15 → 30/04/15|