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The economics of animal welfare

Author(s) : T.J. Gibson & E.L. Jackson

Summary :

This paper examines four examples of animal welfare issues, demonstrating the interactions between welfare and economic principles. Welfare issues associated with purebred companion animals are examined in terms of predicted inherited diseases, highlighting the power of supply and demand in perpetuating traits in pets that compromise their well-being. The livestock industry is presented from the point of view of pig production and the impact that a major disease (pleurisy) has on production and the animals’ welfare. The authors investigate the conflicting and complementary demands of animal welfare and economic gains during the transport and slaughter of livestock and poultry. Finally, wildlife species are considered in terms of their prevalence as pests, and the different types of economic analysis that have been conducted to understand the losses caused by these organisms. Also included in this example are decisions made about cost effectiveness and opportunity costs, and regulatory and financial barriers to the development of humane control agents.

Animal welfare – Breeding – Companion animal – Economics – Livestock – Pest – Pig – Pleurisy – Porcine – Production – Slaughter – Supply chain – Swine – Transport – Wildlife.

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