Relationships between Knowledge of Chicken Production Systems and Advocacy by Animal Protection Workers

In: Society & Animals
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  • 1 Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton, Australia
  • 2 Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton, Australia

Abstract

Animal protection organizations expect their staff to understand and support high welfare standards in animal production. Relationships between Australian animal protection organization workers’ knowledge of chicken production systems, purchasing behavior, and opinion-leading behavior were investigated. Forty-five percent of knowledge questions were answered correctly. Knowledge was mostly gained from animal protection organizations and online literature. Knowledgeable respondents were more critical of both conventional and free range/organic chicken systems and were more likely to avoid eating chicken meat, but not eggs. They were more likely to approach those responsible, in government or industry, about welfare issues and were more likely to discuss animal welfare issues at work and in a social setting. They were also more likely to ask questions about animal welfare standards of food provided at butchers, farmers’ markets, social meals, and restaurants/cafés. Therefore, knowledge was linked to advocacy for improved animal welfare by animal protection organization workers.

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