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Animals (Basel). 2017 Mar 9;7(3). pii: E22. doi: 10.3390/ani7030022.

Of Fur, Feather, and Fin: Human's Use and Concern for Non-Human Species.

Author information

1
Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. byrd12@purdue.edu.
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. nwidmar@purdue.edu.
3
Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. fultonj@purdue.edu.

Abstract

The public's concern for animal welfare is evolving and it is important to consider factors that are related to concern for animals and their use by humans. An online survey of 825 U.S. residents was conducted. Relationships between approval of animal uses and stated concern for animal welfare were examined. More than 90% of respondents reported that using animals for egg production, service or therapy, pets, and milk production was acceptable to them. Respondents who were younger or reported being female less frequently found most uses acceptable than older or male respondents. Half of respondents reported concern for the welfare of bison while 40% or more stated concern for the welfare of elk, beef cattle, and dairy cattle. Respondents who stated they were concerned for the welfare of dairy cattle less frequently reported accepting using animals for meat production, livestock shows, and hunting. Thus, self-reported concern for animal species and acceptance of the use of animals were related in some instances. A better understanding of the factors related to acceptance of animal uses and concern for animal welfare will help animal-related industries and wildlife agencies develop practices that are consistent with public attitudes.

KEYWORDS:

animal use; animal welfare; livestock; perceptions; pets

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