Attitudes to animal welfare
Happy pigs are dirty! - Conflicting perspectives on animal welfare
By J. Lassen, P. Sandøe & B. Forkman (2006)
Livestock Science. Elsevier.
In some cases, ethical assumptions may be uncontroversial, but they may also be the
cause of disagreement. A case study is presented that seems to indicate that there is
systematic disagreement between lay and expert views about what a good animal life
is. The study is based on interviews about modern pig production. The title of this
paper summarises the reaction of an interviewee when commenting on pictures of
what is generally regarded as animal-friendly pig production. In the lay perspective,
living a natural life is an important part of animal welfare a part that supplements,
and therefore needs to be combined with, the absence of suffering and frustration that
are central components of the expert approach.
The main message of the paper for those who are professionally involved in animal
production is that ethical assumptions and potential conflicts of view should be
recognised and brought into the discussion of animal welfare.
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