Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Meat Chicken Production and Relations to Consumption

Version 1 : Received: 8 March 2017 / Approved: 8 March 2017 / Online: 8 March 2017 (07:35:54 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Erian, I.; Phillips, C.J.C. Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Meat Chicken Production and Relations to Consumption. Animals 2017, 7, 20. Erian, I.; Phillips, C.J.C. Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Meat Chicken Production and Relations to Consumption. Animals 2017, 7, 20.

Journal reference: Animals 2017, 7, 20
DOI: 10.3390/ani7030020

Abstract

Little is known about public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds’ welfare and consumer behaviour. We interviewed 506 members of the public in SE Queensland, Australia, to investigate this. Knowledge was assessed from 15 questions, and low scores were supported by respondents’ self-assessed report of low knowledge levels and agreement that their knowledge was insufficient to form an opinion about which chicken products to purchase. Older respondents and single people without children were most knowledgeable. There was uncertainty about whether chicken welfare was adequate, particularly in those with little knowledge. There was also evidence that lack of empathy towards chickens related to lack of knowledge, since those that thought it very acceptable that some birds are inadequately stunned at slaughter had low knowledge scores. More knowledgeable respondents ate chicken more frequently and were less likely to buy products with accredited labelling. Approximately half of the respondents thought the welfare of the chicken to be more important than the cost. It is concluded that the public’s knowledge has an important connection to their attitudes and consumption of meat chickens. Respondents with little knowledge demonstrated that they had both lack of empathy and intolerance to religious slaughter practices.

Subject Areas

animal welfare; attitudes; chicken; knowledge; consumption; poultry

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