30 March 2015 | Online since 2003



24 August 2012|Cattle,News,Produce,Sheep

What is the real cost of cheap food?


With increasing public awareness of animal welfare, how much more are people willing to pay for the happiness of the animals they eat?

Innovative research at the University of Reading suggests that people are willing to pay more for even a slight improvement in the wellbeing of the animals in their meals – but appear to favour cows and chickens over pigs.

Professor Richard Bennett, an agricultural economist who advises the UK government on animal welfare issues, is leading University of Reading research assessing the extent to which people want to improve the welfare of farm animals.

“We kill more than two million cattle, nine million pigs and almost 800 million chickens a year in the UK to feed our demand for meat,” Professor Bennett said.

“With better understanding of animal behaviour, we can accurately measure the welfare of an individual animal in terms of its freedom from hunger, thirst, pain, injury, fear, and its ability to express normal behaviour – in short, what makes animals happy on a 0-100 scale.

“Our research shows that people are overwhelmingly concerned about the welfare of animals bred for meat, and would be willing to pay more each year for even a one-point increase on the happiness scale of the animals they eat.”

The research, published in the journal Animal Welfare, suggests that for just a one point increase on the animal welfare scale consumers are willing to pay £5.24, £5.10 and £4.57 a year to improve the welfare of cattle, chickens and pigs respectively.

Professor Bennett added: “We hope that our approach will be able to support future policy decisions on farm animal welfare by explicitly showing the value people attribute to the welfare of farm animals.”

Professor Bennett has been interviewed for the ITV ‘Tonight’ programme, The Real Cost of Cheap Food, due to be screened on ITV1 at 8pm this evening.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


21 March 2015
Casual Cleaners
Casual Cleaners - Ref: RS50414 Salary: £6.90 - £8.08 per hour Location: Walsall If you are available to work early morning 06...

11 March 2015
Estate Manager - Farmhouse, Oxfordshire
Accommodation comprises of log cabins spread around lakes with larger farm buildings available for groups and parties. Estate...

10 March 2015
Senior Clinical Training Scholar in Veterinary Neurology
Reference: SCH/15/04 We are seeking a veterinary graduate passionate about veterinary neurology, and a minimum of two years’ ...

25 March 2015
Sales Engineer - Industrial Diesel Engines
Our client is a forward thinking and successful company with a prestigious and proud history in the manufacture of bespoke en...

13 March 2015
System Developer
Harper Adams University, with over 2,000 students, is focused on the agriculture, land-based, and food supply chain sectors.....




Top stories you may have missed
23 March 2015 | Cattle

UK butchers face difficulties to recruit...

Butchers in the UK are losing a generation through lack of training opportu...


20 March 2015 | Arable

Dust - the secret fertiliser?

NASA research has revealed how dust blown from the Sahara desert helps supp...


19 March 2015 | Arable

The Budget 2015: A Farmer's Budget?

“In the run up to the Budget 2015 most commentators were predicting that th...


17 March 2015 | News

UK's first floating solar power system l...

The UK’s first fully operational floating solar panel system has been unvei...


13 March 2015 | Animal Health

Labour and Conservatives clash over badg...

Axing the badger cull in England and Wales will save more than £120 million...


12 March 2015 | News

Solar could be cheapest energy source by...

By 2025, solar power could become one of the cheapest forms of energy in ma...


11 March 2015 | Finance

English buyers turn their attention to S...

Demand for Scottish farm land remains strong and continues to be better val...


9 March 2015 | Cattle

2020 vision for the Welsh red meat indus...

The Welsh red meat industry should aim to increase sales by at least 34 per...


6 March 2015 | News

MP raises egg industry concerns on trans...

Fears about the impact that a proposed transatlantic trade agreement could ...


Stay safe and legal when flying drones

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Aircraft Systems - or dron...