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The relationship between animal welfare and economic performance at farm level: a quantitative study of Danish pig producers

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Arne Henningsen, Tomasz Gerard Czekaj, Björn Forkman, Mogens Lund, Aske Schou Nielsen

We propose a theoretical framework for the relationship between animal welfare and the economic performance of livestock farms. We empirically analyse this relationship based on a unique dataset of randomly sampled Danish pig herds that includes information from unannounced inspections of the compliance with the animal welfare legislation. We find large variations in economic performance and animal welfare. The relationship between these two indicators is rather weak, but tends to be slightly positive. A possible explanation for our results is that management has a major influence on both economic performance and animal welfare so that good farm managers are able to meet all animal welfare regulations, while achieving a high economic performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)142–162
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 184103228