Consumer preferences for reduced antibiotic use in Danish pig production

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Denmark has a large and intensive pig production sector which accounts for around half of the total use of antimicrobials in Demark. The economic feasibility of alternative strategies involving reduced use of antibiotics depends not only on their effects on productivity but also on consumers’ demand, and willingness-to-pay (WTP), for pork from pigs with no or lower antibiotic treatment. This study investigates the various concerns that consumers might have about the use of antibiotics in pig production, and how they affect demand and WTP. We used data from an online questionnaire survey of approximately 1000 Danish consumers. WTP estimates were obtained using payment card data analysed in an ordered probit regression. We found that 41 % of the respondents wanted antibiotic use to be reduced substantially, and that they linked reduced use of antibiotics in pig production primarily with reduced risk of antibiotic residues in pork and a lowered risk of resistant bacteria developing. A considerable share of the consumers we sampled also linked reduced antibiotic use with improved animal welfare, and with price increases for pork. Two thirds of the consumers stated a positive WTP for reduced use of antibiotics, but only one in five were willing to pay more than 10 % for pork produced using antibiotics 20 % less than average. The WTP estimates differed with socio-demographic variables (education, geography, gender and age). In addition, the respondents’ perceptions of the effects of reducing antibiotic use and of externalities associated with the pig industry, and the frequency of their pork consumption, were found to affect their WTP for pork produced with lower antibiotic use. As the vast majority of the Danish pork is exported, future studies should examine consumer perceptions of antibiotic use in pig production in importing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105310
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Antibiotic reduction, Consumer preferences, Ordered probit analysis, Pork consumption, Principal component analysis, Willingness-to-pay

ID: 258091192