Pig farmers’ willingness to pay for management strategies to reduce aggression between pigs

Autoři: Rachel S. E. Peden aff001;  Faical Akaichi aff002;  Irene Camerlink aff003;  Laura A. Boyle aff004;  Simon P. Turner aff001
Působiště autorů: Animal Behaviour & Welfare, Animal and Veterinary Sciences Research Group, Scotland’s Rural College, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom aff001;  Department of Rural Economy, Environment and Society, Scotland’s Rural College, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom aff002;  Institute of Animal Welfare Science, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria aff003;  Teagasc, Pig Development Department, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224924


When deciding whether to invest in an improvement to animal welfare, farmers must trade-off the relative costs and benefits. Despite the existence of effective solutions to many animal welfare issues, farmers’ willingness to pay for them is largely unknown. This study modelled pig farmers’ decisions to improve animal welfare using a discrete choice experiment focused on alleviating aggression between growing/finishing pigs at regrouping. Eighty-two UK and Irish pig farm owners and managers were asked to choose between hypothetical aggression control strategies described in terms of four attributes; installation cost, on-going cost, impact on skin lesions from aggression and impact on growth rate. If they did not like any of the strategies they could opt to keep their current farm practice. Systematic variations in product attributes allowed farmers’ preferences and willingness to pay to be estimated and latent class modelling accounted for heterogeneity in responses. The overall willingness to pay to reduce lesions was low at £0.06 per pig place (installation cost) and £0.01 per pig produced (running cost) for each 1% reduction in lesions. Results revealed three independent classes of farmers. Farmers in Class 1 were unlikely to regroup unfamiliar growing/finishing pigs, and thus were unwilling to adopt measures to reduce aggression at regrouping. Farmers in Classes 2 and 3 were willing to adopt measures providing certain pre-conditions were met. Farmers in Class 2 were motivated mainly by business goals, whilst farmers in Class 3 were motivated by both business and animal welfare goals, and were willing to pay the most to reduce aggression; £0.11 per pig place and £0.03 per pig produced for each 1% reduction in lesions. Farmers should not be considered a homogeneous group regarding the adoption of animal welfare innovations. Instead, campaigns should be targeted at subgroups according to their independent preferences and willingness to pay.

Klíčová slova:

Aggression – Agricultural workers – Animal welfare – Decision making – Finance – Quality assurance – Surveys – Swine


1. Dwyer CM, Conington J, Corbiere F, Holmoy IH, Muri K, Nowak R, et al. Invited review: Improving neonatal survival in small ruminants: science into practice. Animal. 2016;10(3):449–59. doi: 10.1017/S1751731115001974 WOS:000377122600012. 26434788

2. Peden RSE, Turner AI, Boyle LA, Camerlink I. The translation of animal welfare research into practice: the case of mixing aggression between pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2018;204:1–9.

3. Matheny G, Leahy C. Farm-Animal Welfare, Legislation, and Trade Law and Contemporary Problems. 2007;70(1):325–58.

4. Dawkins MS. Animal welfare and efficient farming: is conflict inevitable? Animal Production Science. 2017;57(2):201–8. doi: 10.1071/an15383 WOS:000392205500001.

5. Lusk JL, Norwood FB. Animal Welfare Economics. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. 2011;33(4):463–83. doi: 10.1093/aepp/ppr036 WOS:000298289300001.

6. Millman ST, Duncan IJH, Stauffacher M, Stookey JA. The impact of applied ethologists and the International Society for Applied Ethology in improving animal welfare. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2004;86(3–4):299–311. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2004.02.008 WOS:000221679000008.

7. Gocsik E, van der Lans IA, Lansink A, Saatkamp HW. Willingness of Dutch broiler and pig farmers to convert to production systems with improved welfare. Animal Welfare. 2015;24(2):211–22. doi: 10.7120/09627286.24.2.211 WOS:000354062300009.

8. Gocsik E, Saatkamp HW, de Lauwere CC, Lansink A. A Conceptual Approach for a Quantitative Economic Analysis of Farmers' Decision-Making Regarding Animal Welfare. Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics. 2014;27(2):287–308. doi: 10.1007/s10806-013-9464-9 WOS:000333025800007.

9. Bock BB, van Huik MM. Animal welfare: the attitudes and behaviour of European pig farmers. British Food Journal. 2007;109(11):931–44. doi: 10.1108/00070700710835732 WOS:000251020800008.

10. Feder G. Adoption of interrelated agricultural innovations—Complementarity and the impacts of risk, scale, and credit. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 1982;64(1):94–101. doi: 10.2307/1241177 WOS:A1982ND82100012.

11. Pannell DJ. Social and economic challenges in the development of complex farming systems. Agrofor Syst. 1999;45(1–3):393–409. WOS:000083412500018.

12. Gocsik E. Animal welfare decisions in Dutch poultry and pig farms. Netherlands Wageningen University; 2014.

13. Kauppinen T, Vesala KM, Valros A. Farmer attitude toward improvement of animal welfare is correlated with piglet production parameters. Livestock Science. 2012;143(2–3):142–50. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2011.09.011 WOS:000300070500004.

14. Kauppinen T, Vainio A, Valros A, Rita H, Vesala KM. Improving animal welfare: qualitative and quantitative methodology in the study of farmers' attitudes. Animal Welfare. 2010;19(4):523–36. WOS:000283968800015.

15. Edwards-Jones G. Modelling farmer decision-making: concepts, progress and challenges. Animal Science. 2006;82:783–90. doi: 10.1017/asc2006112 WOS:000244179600005.

16. McGlone JJ. A quantitative ethogram of aggressive and submissive behaviours in recently regrouped pigs. Journal of Animal Science. 1985;61(3):559–65. WOS:A1985ARJ2600004. 4066526

17. Peden RSE, Akaichi F, Camerlink I, Boyle LA, Turner SP. Factors influencing farmer willingness to reduce aggression between pigs. Animals. 2019;9(6).

18. Camerlink I, Turner SP. Farmers’ perceptions of aggression between growing pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2017; 192C 42–7. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.11.009

19. Morrow-tesch JL, McGlone JJ, Salakjohnson JL. Heat and social stress effects on pig immune measures. Journal of Animal Science. 1994;72(10):2599–609. doi: 10.2527/1994.72102599x WOS:A1994PK53400011. 7883617

20. Turner SP, Farnworth MJ, White IMS, Brotherstone S, Mendl M, Knap P, et al. The accumulation of skin lesions and their use as a predictor of individual aggressiveness in pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2006;96(3–4):245–59. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2005.06.009 WOS:000235423000006.

21. Rydhmer L, Zamaratskaia G, Andersson HK, Algers B, Guillemet R, Lundstrom K. Aggressive and sexual behaviour of growing and finishing pigs reared in groups, without castration. Acta Agric Scand Section a-Anim Sci. 2006;56:109–19.

22. Stookey JM, Gonyou HW. The effects of regrouping on behavioural and production parameters in finishing swine. Journal of Animal Science. 1994;72(11):2804–11. WOS:A1994PQ17500004. doi: 10.2527/1994.72112804x 7730172

23. Coutellier L, Arnould C, Boissy A, Orgeur P, Prunier A, Veissier I, et al. Pig's responses to repeated social regrouping and relocation during the growing-finishing period. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2007;105(1–3):102–14. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.05.007 WOS:000246957100009.

24. D'Eath RB, Turner SP, Kurt E, Evans G, Tholking L, Looft H, et al. Pigs' aggressive temperament affects pre-slaughter mixing aggression, stress and meat quality. Animal. 2010;4(4):604–16. doi: 10.1017/S1751731109991406 WOS:000276005600013. 22444048

25. Peden RSE, Turner AI, Boyle LA, Camerlink I. The translation of animal welfare research into practice: the case of mixing aggression between pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2018

26. Marchant-Forde JN, Marchant-Forde RM. Minimizing inter-pig aggression during mixing. Pig News and Information. 2005;26(3):63–71.

27. Petherick JC, Blackshaw JK. A review of the factors influencing the aggressive and agonistic behaviour of the domestic pig. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 1987;27(5):605–11. doi: 10.1071/ea9870605 WOS:A1987L110900002.

28. Andersen IL, Naevdal E, Bakken M, Boe KE. Aggression and group size in domesticated pigs, Sus scrofa: 'when the winner takes it all and the loser is standing small'. Animal Behaviour. 2004;68:965–75. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2003.12.016 WOS:000224766000034.

29. Samarakone TS, Gonyou HW. Domestic pigs alter their social strategy in response to social group size. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2009;121(1):8–15. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.08.006 WOS:000271770200002.

30. Randolph JH, Cromwell GL, Stahly TS, Kratzer DD. Effects of group-size and space allowance on performance and behaviour of swine. Journal of Animal Science. 1981;53(4):922–7. WOS:A1981MN48400010.

31. Turner SP, Ewen M, Rooke JA, Edwards SA. The effect of space allowance on performance, aggression and immune competence of growing pigs housed on straw deep-litter at different group sizes. Livestock Production Science. 2000;66(1):47–55. doi: 10.1016/s0301-6226(00)00159-7 WOS:000089007000005.

32. Koopmans SJ, Ruis M, Dekker R, van Diepen H, Korte M, Mroz Z. Surplus dietary tryptophan reduces plasma cortisol and noradrenaline concentrations and enhances recovery after social stress in pigs. Physiology & Behavior. 2005;85(4):469–78. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2005.05.010 WOS:000231105800012. 15996691

33. Poletto R, Kretzer FC, Hotzel MJ. Minimizing aggression during mixing of gestating sows with supplementation of a tryptophan-enriched diet. Physiology & Behavior. 2014;132:36–43. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.04.043 WOS:000338404200005. 24813705

34. Hoyos D. The state of the art of environmental valuation with discrete choice experiments. Ecological Economics. 2010;69(8):1595–603. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.04.011 WOS:000279088300001.

35. Hensher DA. Stated preference analysis of travel choices—the state of practice. Transportation. 1994;21(2):107–33. doi: 10.1007/bf01098788 WOS:A1994NZ86800002.

36. Dong S, Ding M, Huber J. A simple mechanism to incentive-align conjoint experiment. International Journal of Research in Marketing. 2010;27:25–32.

37. Ryan M, Gerard K. Using discrete choice experiments to value health care programmes: current practice and future research reflections. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy. 2003;2(1):55–64. 14619274

38. Lancsar E, Louviere J. Conducting discrete choice experiments to inform Healthcare decision making. Pharmacoeconomics. 2008;26(8):661–77. doi: 10.2165/00019053-200826080-00004 WOS:000258520500004. 18620460

39. Breidert C, Hahsler M, Reutterer T. A review of methods for measuring willingness-to-pay. Innovative Marketing. 2006;2(4):8–32.

40. Ryan M, Farrar S. Using conjoint analysis to elicit preferences for healthcare. Education and debate. 2000;320:1530–3.

41. Greene WH, Hensher DA. A latent class model for discrete choice analysis: contrasts with mixed logit. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological. 2003;37(8):681–98.

42. Ison SH, Rutherford KMD. Attitudes of farmers and veterinarians towards pain and the use of pain relief in pigs. Veterinary Journal. 2014;202(3):622–7. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2014.10.003 WOS:000348017500039. 25455386

43. Camerlink I, Farish M, D'Eath RB, Arnott G, Turner SP. Long Term Benefits on Social Behaviour after Early Life Socialization of Piglets. Animals. 2018;8(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110192. WOS:000451300800007.

44. Spoolder HAM, Edwards SA, Corning S. Effects of group size and feeder space allowance on welfare in finishing pigs. Animal Science. 1999;69:481–9. doi: 10.1017/s135772980005133x WOS:000084596200003.

45. Turner SP, D'Eath RB, Roehe R, Lawrence AB. Selection against aggressiveness in pigs at re-grouping: practical application and implications for long-term behavioural patterns. Animal Welfare. 2010;19:123–32. WOS:000277415200016.

46. Poletto R, Meisel RL, Richert BT, Cheng HW, Marchant-Forde JN. Aggression in replacement grower and finisher gilts fed a short-term high-tryptophan diet and the effect of long-term human-animal interaction. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2010;122(2–4):98–110. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.11.015 WOS:000274765100005.

47. Li YZ, Kerr BJ, Kidd KT, Gonyou HW. Use of supplementary tryptophan to modify the behavior of pigs. Journal of Animal Science. 2006;84(1):212–20. WOS:000236120300025. doi: 10.2527/2006.841212x 16361509

48. Street DJ, Burgess L. The construction of optimal stated choice experiments: theory and methods. John Wiley & Sons. 2007;647.

49. Bech M, Kjaer T, Lauridsen J. Does the number of choice sets matter? Results from a web survey applying a discrete choice experiment. Health Economics 2011;20:273–86. doi: 10.1002/hec.1587 20143304

50. Ladenburg J, Olsen SB. Augmenting short Cheap Talk scripts with a repeated Opt-Out Reminder in Choice Experiment surveys. Resource and Energy Economics. 2014;37:39–63. doi: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2014.05.002 WOS:000340329400003.

51. Hensher DA. Hypothetical bias, choice experiments and willingness to pay. Transportation Research Part B-Methodological. 2010;44(6):735–52. doi: 10.1016/j.trb.2009.12.012 WOS:000278601100003.

52. Cummings RG, Taylor LO. Unbiased value estimates for environmental goods: A cheap talk design for the contingent valuation method. American Economic Review. 1999;89(3):649–65. doi: 10.1257/aer.89.3.649 WOS:000081083000015.

53. Akaichi F, Glenk K, Revoredo-Giha. Substitutes or Complements? Consumers’ Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Animal Welfare, Organic, Local and Low Fat Food Attributes. the 90th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Society; University of Warwick, England2016.

54. Defra. Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2017 2017 [5th April 2018]. Available from: www.gov.uk.

55. AHDB. UK Regional Breakdown of Breeding Herd 2014 [Retrieved 5th April 2018]. Available from: https://pork.ahdb.org.uk/prices-stats/industry-structure/uk-regional-breakdown-of-breeding-herd/.

56. RSPCA. RSPCA Welfare Standards for Pigs. 2016.

57. Red Tractor Assurance. Red Tractor Assurance For Farms—Pig Scheme. 2018.

58. FERA. Project BR0114: Study on farm assurance scheme membership and compliance with regulation under cross compliance, Report to DEFRA 2013. Available from: file:///C:/Users/RPeden/Downloads/11271_ProjectBR0114Studyonfarmassurancemembershipandregulatorycompliance.pdf (accessed 11th October 2019).

59. Bord Bia. Pigmeat Quality Assurance Scheme Pig Producer Standard 2014. Available from: https://www.bordbia.ie/globalassets/bordbia.ie/farmers—growers/farmers/qas/document-libraries/pqas-pdfs/pig_scheme_standard.pdf (accessed 11th October 2019).

60. AHDB. The BPEX Yearbook 2014–2015. Key Industry Statistics, PigPerformance Data and Details of Knowledge Transfer, Research and Development Activity 2015 [Retrieved 5th April 2018]. Available from: http://pork.ahdb.org.uk/media/73777/bpex-yearbook-2015.pdf.

61. Lancaster KJ. A new approach to consumer theory. Journal of Political Economy. 1966;74(2):132–57.

62. McFadden D. Conditional logit analysis of qualitative choice behavior. In: Zambreka P, editor. Frontiers in Econometrics New York: Academic press; 1973. p. 105–42.

63. Hensher DA, Rose JM, Greene WH. Applied choice analysis. Camridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2015.

64. Revelt D, Train K. Mixed logit with repeated choices: Households' choices of appliance efficiency level. Review of Economics and Statistics. 1998;80(4):647–57. doi: 10.1162/003465398557735 WOS:000077489000015.

65. Train K. Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press; 2003.

66. Ison SH, Bates RO, Ernst CW, Steibe JP, Siegford JM. Housing, ease of handling and minimising inter-pig aggression at mixing for nursery to finishing pigs as reported in a survey of North American pork producers. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2018;205:159–66. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2018.05.004 WOS:000439677300021.

67. Hubbard C, Scott K. Do farmers and scientists differ in their understanding and assessment of farm animal welfare? Animal Welfare. 2011;20(1):79–87. WOS:000287062900010.

68. Te Velde H, Aarts N, Van Woerkum C. Dealing with ambivalence: Farmers' and consumers' perceptions of animal welfare in livestock breeding. Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics. 2002;15(2):203–19. WOS:000176156900005.

69. Duijvesteijn N, Benard M, Reimert I, Camerlink I. Same Pig, Different Conclusions: Stakeholders Differ in Qualitative Behaviour Assessment. Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics. 2014;27(6):1019–47. doi: 10.1007/s10806-014-9513-z WOS:000345641600008.

70. Tuyttens FAM, Vanhonacker F, Van Poucke E, Verbeke W. Quantitative verification of the correspondence between the Welfare Quality® operational definition of farm animal welfare and the opinion of Flemish farmers, citizens and vegetarians. Livestock Science. 2010;131:108–14.

71. Carrington MJ, Neville BA, Whitwell GJ. Lost in translation: Exploring the ethical consumer intention-behavior gap. Journal of Business Research. 2014;67(1):2759–67. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2012.09.022 WOS:000327361700014.

72. Carrington MJ, Neville BA, Whitwell GJ. Why Ethical Consumers Don't Walk Their Talk: Towards a Framework for Understanding the Gap Between the Ethical Purchase Intentions and Actual Buying Behaviour of Ethically Minded Consumers. Journal of Business Ethics. 2010;97(1):139–58. doi: 10.1007/s10551-010-0501-6 WOS:000282827100009.

73. AHDB. Pig cost of production in selected countries. 2016.

74. AHDB/BPEX. Pig Production Costs & Prices Report. 2013.

75. AHDB. Pig cost of production in selected countries 2017.

76. Peden RSE, Camerlink I, Boyle LA, Akaichi F, Turner SP. Farmer perceptions of pig aggression compared to animal based measures of fight outcome Animals. 2019;9(1):22. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9010022.

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11