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Attitudes of stakeholders to animal welfare during slaughter and transport in SE and E Asia



Understanding cross-cultural differences in attitudes to animal welfare issues is important in maintaining good international relations, including economic and trade relations. This study aimed to investigate the attitudes of stakeholders towards improving the welfare of animals during slaughter and transport in four key SE and E Asian countries: China, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Logistic regression analysis of the associations between demographic factors and attitudes identified nationality as the most significant factor influencing attitude. Motivating factors for improving welfare were ranked according to their importance: religion, knowledge levels, monetary gain, availability of tools and resources, community issues, approval of supervisor and peers. Strong beliefs in the influence of animal welfare laws, the power of the workplace and the importance of personal knowledge were shared by all countries. In addition, religion and peer consideration were significantly associated with attitudes in Malaysia and Thailand, respectively. The findings of this research will assist in the development of international animal welfare initiatives.
© 2017 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
The Old School, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead,
Hertfordshire AL4 8AN, UK
Animal Welfare 2017, 26: 417-425
ISSN 0962-7286
doi: 10.7120/09627286.26.4.417
Attitudes of stakeholders to animal welfare during slaughter and transport
in SE and E Asia
M Sinclair*, S Zito, Z Idrus, W Yan§, D van Nhiem#, P Na Lampangand CJC Phillips
Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland 4343, Australia
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM
Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
§Guangzhou University, 230 Daxuecheng Outer Ring West Road, Panyu, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
#Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Gialam, Hanoi, Vietnam
Suranaree University of Technology, 111 University Avenue, Muang District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand
* Contact for correspondence, requests for reprints and a copy of the questionnaire:
Understanding cross-cultural differences in attitudes to animal welfare issues is important in maintaining good international relations,
including economic and trade relations. This study aimed to investigate the attitudes of stakeholders towards improving the welfare
of animals during slaughter and transport in four key SE and E Asian countries: China, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Logistic
regression analysis of the associations between demographic factors and attitudes identified nationality as the most significant factor
influencing attitude. Motivating factors for improving welfare were ranked according to their importance: religion, knowledge levels,
monetary gain, availability of tools and resources, community issues, approval of supervisor and peers. Strong beliefs in the influence
of animal welfare laws, the power of the workplace and the importance of personal knowledge were shared by all countries. In
addition, religion and peer consideration were significantly associated with attitudes in Malaysia and Thailand, respectively. The
findings of this research will assist in the development of international animal welfare initiatives.
Keywords:animal welfare, Asia, attitudes, culture, slaughter, transport
The animal agriculture sector is the most economically
important interface between humans and other species. It
also has the largest number of stakeholders: approximately
68 billion animals are slaughtered for meat globally each
year alone (Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO] 2016),
which presents significant potential for animal suffering
(Rollin 1995), and it may be considered that for some their
lives are ‘not worth living’ (Mellor 2016). The recent growth
in meat consumption is greatest in Asia; for example, in
China consumption has increased from 10.2 to 13.5 billion
animals in the last ten years (FAO 2016). To meet this need,
international trade in live animals and animal products has
increased (FAO 2016), facilitated by the creation of Fair
Trade Agreements, advances in technology and transporta-
tion, and the resulting globalised trade. Asia accounts for
39% of global meat production, with China producing
almost twice as much meat as the second highest
producer — the United States of America (FAO 2016).
Although there are major business interests involved in
much of the global production of animals, the income of
70% of the world’s poorest people is tied to production
animal industries, including many in Asia (World Bank
2016). This is particularly pertinent for trade in animal
products between countries in Asia, many of which are
exploring animal welfare policy options, and developed
countries where there is already advanced animal welfare
policy and awareness (Veissier et al 2008). In Europe, which
receives many meat animals from Asia, there is an increasing
consumer demand for animal products produced in ways that
attempt to minimise animal suffering (Verbeke et al 2010).
Many challenges exist in progressing animal welfare in a
global context, with great variation in legislation, policy and
agricultural landscapes worldwide. It is for this reason that the
OIE (World Animal Health Organisation) has developed
standards focused on transport and slaughter of production
animals and farmed fish (OIE 2011). Based on a scientific
understanding of animal welfare and widespread consultation,
the OIE Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Codes have been
agreed upon by 180 nations that are signatories to the OIE. It is
the responsibility of each country to implement the standards,
but there have been some notable instances of lower standards
of animal welfare in Asian countries than would be acceptable
in developed countries (Tiplady et al 2012).
The ‘Theory of Planned Behaviour’ acknowledges that
attitudes are an important predictor of behaviour intentions,
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Science in the Service of Animal Welfare
418 Sinclair et al
along with subjective norms and perceived behaviour
control (Azjen 1991). Factors that influence human
attitudes towards animals include emotional responses to
other species, the extent to which an animal is of instru-
mental use and value to the human, and many individual
human factors, such as gender, income, and whether they
grew up with pets (Serpell 2004). With improvements in
statistical techniques, these factors can be evaluated sepa-
rately for their ability to independently predict the contribu-
tion of each to the outcome through, for example,
multinomial logistic regression modelling. Cultural differ-
ences in attitudes towards animals may derive from regional
differences in the domestication process, human totemism
of animals and mythological history (Dolins 1999).
A collaborative initiative that will encourage engagement
in changing attitudes towards animals requires an under-
standing of regional cultures. Initiatives that are locally
defined, developed and led may avoid the risk of imposing
external international opinions onto an at best unreceptive
and at worst offended audience, which could compromise
its success. For these reasons, working to understand local
stakeholders and collaborating in an engaging way are
vital keys to progress initiatives, and can improve success
and uptake (Marciano 2010).
Previous studies have identified the importance of under-
standing cultural audiences. For example, Lowe and
Corkindale (1998) demonstrated the influences cultural
values and attitudes have when comparing Australians and
Chinese nationals on perceptions towards marketing
stimuli. They concluded that “one cannot assume that the
same set of values will influence two different groups of
consumers’ responses for the same marketing stimuli”
(Lowe & Corkindale 1998; p 864). This may apply to
country, and region within country, or socio-political region.
Differences in cross-cultural attitudes to animals have been
reported. For example, attitudes towards animal welfare and
rights differ between Eurasian nations, with university
students from European countries expressing more concern
for animal welfare and rights than those from Asian nations
(Phillips et al 2012). A relationship between attitudes towards
animal welfare and rights and affluence has been suggested
and is supported by a positive correlation between respondent
weekly expenditure and concern for animal welfare and
animal rights (Phillips et al 2012). Attitudes of future industry
stakeholders, such as veterinary science and agricultural
students, about livestock slaughter and transport also differ
between nations in SE and E Asia (Ling et al 2016).
Compared to respondents from Malaysia, China or Vietnam,
respondents from Thailand found it less acceptable to kill
animals, and compared to respondents from China or
Vietnam, Malaysian respondents found it less acceptable for
animals to experience pain and suffering during slaughter
(Ling et al 2016). As well as national differences, there are
regional differences in these countries which are of less
significance than differences between regional groups within
the countries (Minkov & Hofstede 2012). Hence, nations are
valid units in which to evaluate regional differences in
attitudes to animals in SE and E Asia.
Current cross-cultural animal welfare attitudinal research
has been most commonly focused on respondents that are
accessible for large-scale surveys, such as university
students. To our knowledge no research has been
conducted with the stakeholders that are the most
accountable for the welfare of animals during slaughter
and transport in Asia — the slaughterers, transporters,
agri-business owners, government agri-vets and agri-
policy makers. This study aimed to assess the attitudes of
Asian livestock transport and slaughter industry stake-
holders to animal welfare and, in addition, to determine
the perceived motivating factors and barriers to
improving animal welfare. This information will assist in
determining whether regionally tailored animal welfare
initiatives are required in SE and E Asia.
Materials and methods
As part of a larger OIE project to improve knowledge
around animal welfare standards, trainers (n = 44) with
relevant livestock industry knowledge in four key SE and
E Asian countries attended one of four two-day
workshops (held in each country) presented by four inter-
national experts in livestock transport and slaughter.
Attendees received a per diem expenses allowance, a
travel allowance, free lunch, refreshments, and a memory
stick with comprehensive training resources (available at The trainers then
delivered forty-four one-day regional workshops to
stakeholders (about 25 in each) in the livestock transport
and slaughter industry in geographically relevant
locations within the People’s Republic of China
(hereafter China; n = 16), Malaysia (n = 6), Thailand
(n = 11) and Socialist Republic of Vietnam (hereafter
Vietnam; n = 11). The locations within China included
Guandong, Hain, Hubei, Hun, Shandong, Zhejiang and
Jiangxi provinces, Hanoi, Halphong, Vinh, Dang,
Vungtau, Binhduong and Cantho within Vietnam, Khon
Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Champon, Khon Kaen, Sakon
khon, Petchaburi and Bangkok within Thailand, and Zon
Selatan, Tengah, Utara, Sabah, Sarawak, Pantai Timur
and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. These countries were
selected because of their important role in global import
and export livestock industries and because of their
diverse religious and cultural attributes. Stakeholders
were invited to the workshops and also to participate in
the research by the workshop trainers, with the only
selection criteria that they must be employed and
involved in the local livestock slaughter and transport
industry. Participants were sought from among slaughter
personnel, transporters, livestock slaughter and transport
business owners and managers, senior livestock veteri-
narians, livestock farmers, agriculture academics and
government agriculture representatives (see Table 1 in the
supplementary material to papers published in Animal
Welfare on the UFAW website:
© 2017 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
Asian livestock stakeholders’ attitudes to animal welfare 419
Participants were anonymously surveyed using a paper-
based questionnaire at the start of the slaughter and transport
workshops, which had been developed in English through
consultation with academic and industry experts in the
animal welfare field. The survey was translated into Bahasa,
Mandarin, Thai and Vietnamese and then back-translated to
ensure meaning consistency, with changes to the original
questionnaire where necessary. The questionnaire was
administered to the trainers at the start of their workshops, so
that they were familiar with it and because they were also
deemed to effectively be stakeholders in the industry. These
were incorporated with the stakeholders responses,
increasing the total number of respondents to 1,066.
In the questionnaire, respondent demographics were obtained
first: country, region, sex, age, residential area, religion, reli-
giosity, their role within the industry, and how their industry
knowledge was gained (formal qualifications or otherwise) and
over what period. The rest of the questionnaire consisted of four
key question sets with responses to each question measured on
a Likert scale from ‘strongly disagree to ‘strongly agree’.
The first non-demographic set of eight questions focused on
general attitudes to animal welfare, which is a central
component of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, including:
• The importance placed on animal welfare during slaughter
and transport;
How satisfactory animal welfare in the respondents’
workplace was believed to be;
• Whether the respondent intended or felt confident to make
animal welfare improvements in their workplace; and
• Whether the respondent had tried to make animal welfare
improvements in the past.
The second question set investigated nine key factors influ-
encing the stakeholders’ evaluation of animal welfare
during slaughter and transport. These included religion,
personal beliefs, the extent to which there are more pressing
issues in the community, personal and community monetary
gain, importance within the workplace and amongst peers,
knowledge and the relevant laws. These are important
drivers of perceived behavioural control, a second major
component in the Theory of Planned Behaviour, and which
was the subject of the third set of questions.
The third set of 12 (slaughter) or 13 (transport) questions
focused on the respondents’ evaluation of their ability to
improve animal welfare during slaughter and transport, and
the factors that may enable or hinder their ability to effect
improvement. These included the same factors as the second
question set, but with the addition of company approval of
improving animal welfare, physical workspace, available
tools and resources, and vehicle design (transport only).
The final set of eleven questions focused on sources of
encouragement to improve animal welfare, and which
sources respondents are more likely to respond favourably
to. This relates to the stakeholders’ ability to turn intentions
into actual behaviour, which is affected by their level of
behaviour control. Those investigated were:
• Prescription by local government, local organisations,
local law enforcement, western international organisations;
• Prescription by law, workplace, supervisor, community
• The respondent seeing moral or monetary gain in change,
or seeing others making the change.
The survey was reviewed by three sociological researchers,
piloted with nationals from each participating country and
amended to ensure comprehension and relevance. Ethical
approval for this study was granted by the University of
Queensland Human Ethics Committee (Project
Identification Code: 2015000059).
Statistical analysis
The data were initially collated and quality controls
employed to remove obviously erroneous data-points. Least
squares means of rated importance for each question were
determined, by nation, to allow for ranking of factors.
Multivariable ordinal logistic regression analyses were
performed in Minitab® to assess the significance of the
relationships between respondent demographics (the inde-
pendent variables) and the distribution of the Likert scale
responses for each question (the dependent variable). For
each independent variable (demographic factor) the
reference category chosen was the most numerous response
category (for example, in nationality comparisons the most
numerous was Chinese). The model used an iterative-
reweighted least squares algorithm with a logit-link
function. No starting estimates were provided and unusual
observations were identified but not removed.
Importance rankings of factors influencing attitudes to
animal welfare were determined using Fisher’s LSD
Method and 95% Confidence Intervals in Minitab®. Plots
of residuals were inspected to ensure they approximated a
normal distribution. All probability values were consid-
ered significant at P< 0.05.
This paper focuses on the influences of nationality,
comparing responses of participants in China, Malaysia,
Thailand and Vietnam. Results assessing the influences of the
other demographic factors will be presented subsequently.
All of the stakeholders who attended the workshops
completed the questionnaire at the start, yielding 1,022
respondents and a 100% response rate. Three surveys were
disqualified from analysis due to being incomplete.
The respondents were from a wide variety of occupations
within the livestock transport and slaughter industry: 49%
held roles working directly with the animals, 27% were
supervisors, business owners or managers within the
industry, and 23% were livestock veterinarians, both
working in the field and in advisory roles (Table 1;
material). The majority of respondents (684; 69%) were
male and aged 26–35 (361; 36%) or 36–45 (248; 25%), with
16% (166) under 25, 15% (150) between 46 and 55, and 6%
(63) over 56. The majority of the respondents (563; 60%)
Animal Welfare 2017, 26: 417-425
doi: 10.7120/09627286.26.4.417
420 Sinclair et al
reported having gained their knowledge through formal
qualifications in agriculture, with 37% (354) having gained
it through hands-on farm employment. Slightly more
respondents resided in an urban/metropolitan (566; 57%)
region than in a rural (421; 43%) region. Of the 991 respon-
dents who identified their theological affiliation, 43% (431)
identified as Buddhist, 37% (370) as atheist, 7% (76) as
Muslim, and 4% (43) as Christian.
Attitudes to animal welfare during slaughter and
Most respondents in all four countries agreed with the state-
ments that the welfare of animals during transport and
slaughter was important to them (see Table 2; in the supple-
mentary material to papers published in Animal Welfare on the
UFAW website:
journal/supplementary-material). Respondents were less likely
to agree that the welfare of the animals while being slaughtered
was satisfactory in their workplace, particularly in China and
Thailand where the mean agreement was 3.18 and 3.39,
respectively. Respondents in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam
agreed more that the welfare of the animals while being trans-
ported was satisfactory in their workplace than Chinese
respondents. For all of these statements the order of agreement
was from highest to lowest: Malaysians, Vietnamese, Thai and
Chinese respondents (Table 2;
There was agreement in all four countries that most people
who were important to them would approve of them making
improvements to animal welfare; again this was strongest in
Malaysians and weakest in Chinese, but Thai respondents
showed stronger agreement than Vietnamese (Table 2;
material). Similarly, in all four countries there was
agreement among respondents that they intended to make
improvements in the welfare of animals and that they had
confidence in their ability to make these improvements,
with Malaysians and Thais agreeing most, then Vietnamese
and Chinese respondents which showed equal agreement.
Most respondents from China, Thailand and Malaysia
agreed that they had tried to make improvements in the
welfare of animals in the past, with a lower level of
agreement among Vietnamese respondents.
Influencing factors
Stakeholders’ evaluation of animal welfare during transport
and slaughter was most influenced by the factor ‘govern-
ment laws’ (including monitoring) (hereafter just laws)
(Table 3; supplementary material to papers published in
Animal Welfare on the UFAW website:
material). This was ranked the highest influencing factor in
all countries, except in Malaysia, where religion was more
important, and in Thailand where it was rated similar to the
importance of animal welfare to the respondents’ co-
workers/peers (Table 3;
journal/supplementary-material). Co-workers were
therefore rated very important to personal attitudes by Thai
respondents, but were not as highly rated by those from
other countries. Compared to Chinese respondents, respon-
dents from the following countries rated factors higher as
follows: Vietnam, laws, personal knowledge; Thailand and
Malaysia, importance to peers and religious beliefs;
Malaysia, importance in workplace, personal beliefs.
Laws were again rated as the most important factor influ-
encing respondents’ ability to make improvements to animal
welfare during slaughter in all countries, except in Malaysia,
where religion was more important, and in Thailand where
laws were similarly rated to company approval (Table 4;
supplementary material to papers published in Animal Welfare
on the UFAW website:
journal/supplementary-material). Religious beliefs and
personal beliefs rated the lowest in both China and Vietnam,
whereas ‘personal and community monetary benefit’ and
‘more pressing community issues were rated the lowest in
Thailand and Malaysia.
Compared to Chinese respondents, respondents from the
following countries rated factors higher as follows: personal
knowledge, importance to peers, Thai, Malaysians and
Vietnamese; religious beliefs, workspace, personal beliefs,
Malaysians and to a lesser extent Thai; importance in
workplace, Thai; company approval, Malaysians; and govern-
ment law/monitoring, Vietnamese. Personal beliefs were rated
lower by Vietnamese respondents than by Chinese respondents.
Laws were again rated as the most important factor influ-
encing respondents’ ability to make improvements to
animal welfare during transport in all countries, except
Malaysia, where religion was again rated as more important
(Table 4;
mentary-material). Religious beliefs were again the lowest
rated influencing factor in China, and Vietnam where it was
equal with personal beliefs. The design of the vehicles and
personal monetary gain were rated as the least influential
factors in both Thailand and Malaysia, equal with ‘the
extent to which there are more pressing concerns’ and
community monetary gain, respectively. Compared to
Chinese respondents, respondents from the following
countries rated factors higher as follows: company
approval, importance to peers, workspace, Thai and
Malaysians; personal knowledge, Vietnamese, vehicle
design, Malaysians. Tools/resource availability, personal
beliefs, religious beliefs, monetary gain were all rated of
less importance by Vietnamese than Chinese respondents.
Sources of encouragement to improve animal welfare
most likely to elicit favourable response
Respondents from all countries agreed that they felt neutral
or would make improvements in response to changes
prescribed by all bodies (local government, local organisa-
tions, local law enforcement, western international organi-
sations, legal bodies, workplace supervisors), except in the
case of changes prescribed by a community elder or leader,
in which case respondents disagreed in Vietnam (Table 5;
supplementary material to papers published in Animal
Welfare on the UFAW website:
© 2017 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
Asian livestock stakeholders’ attitudes to animal welfare 421
Compared to respondents from China and Vietnam, respon-
dents from Thailand and Malaysia were more likely to agree
that they would make improvements to animal welfare if
there was the opportunity for personal monetary gain, if the
changes were prescribed by their workplace, their super-
visor or a western organisation.
Respondents from Vietnam were more likely than those in
other countries to agree that they would make improvements
to animal welfare if changes were prescribed by law or local
law enforcement police. Respondents from China were less
likely to agree that seeing moral value in changing practices
would influence them to make changes to animal welfare
compared to those from Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
In all countries, respondents stated that they were most
encouraged to change their practices if prescribed by law, and
equally where they saw moral value in changing practices,
except in Thailand where ‘moral value’ was placed just above
‘law’, and in Malaysia where ‘law’ was placed just above
‘moral value’. Changes prescribed by Western international
organisations were ranked the least likely to encourage
change in all countries, except in Vietnam where ‘change
prescribe by a community elder or leader’ was lower, and in
Thailand where ‘I see others making the change’ ranked as
equal lowest (Table 5;
Within country ranking of influences on attitudes
and factors that would elicit change
The ranking of factors influencing respondents’ personal
evaluation of animal welfare during transport and slaughter
was essentially the same for China and Vietnam. Malaysian
respondents differed by their ranking of religious beliefs
first, whereas these were ranked last by Chinese and
Vietnamese respondents (Table 6; supplementary material
to papers published in Animal Welfare on the UFAW
mentary-material). Malaysian respondents also ranked
personal beliefs higher than Chinese and Vietnamese
respondents. Thai respondents ranked co-workers higher
than respondents from other countries and ‘more pressing
community concerns’ lower than respondents from China.
In relation to factors that influenced respondents’ ability to
make improvements to animal welfare during slaughter, co-
workers were again ranked higher by Thai respondents than
Chinese respondents. Religious beliefs were ranked higher
by Malaysian respondents than by, in particular, Vietnamese
and Chinese respondents, and to a lesser extent Thai respon-
dents. Personal beliefs were ranked higher by Malaysian
than Vietnamese and Chinese respondents.
For factors influencing transport improvements, company
approval was seen as less important than the law by respon-
dents in Vietnam, but not in other countries. Religious
beliefs were seen as more important and vehicle design less
important by respondents in Malaysia than the other
countries. Sources of encouragement which would enable
improvements in animal welfare to happen were focused on
the law and personal value.
This study demonstrated that, in the Asia Pacific region,
stakeholders’ attitudes to animal welfare during slaughter
and transport were significantly influenced by country of
residence. Historically, our four countries have significantly
different cultural origins, there being a strong influence of
Indian culture in Malaysia and Thailand but almost none in
Vietnam and China, which are considered part of the East
Asian cultural sphere. Within this sphere there are differ-
ences between China and Vietnam in their respect for family,
which dominates in China, and respect for the clan, a larger
grouping, which dominates in Vietnam. This is despite their
common socialist history in recent times. As well as these
major influences, there are differences between subcultures
within each country, but these are usually subservient to the
national differences (Minkov & Hofstede 2012).
As well as culture, and included in that, there are major
differences in religion and religiosity between our four
countries. Malaysia and Thailand have an overwhelming
majority of their population that strictly follow Islamism
and Buddhism, respectively, whereas in China and Vietnam
less than one-third of the populations believe that religion is
important in their life (Crabtree 2010).
Country of residence was shown to be strongly associated
with factors influencing respondents’ evaluation of animal
welfare during slaughter and transport, and respondents’
perceived ability to make improvements to animal welfare.
Despite this, some important similarities in attitudes
emerged between countries across the region. Most notably,
the strength of influence that government laws have on the
evaluation of animal welfare, the perceived ability to make
improvements, and the avenue most likely to encourage
improvement change. This suggests that animal welfare
change is more likely to be successful when it is legislated,
which affirms the importance of legislation to improve
animal welfare. The concept of an animal welfare focus of
society is still new across much of Asia, and animal welfare
legislation is either newly implemented or under develop-
ment in each of the countries studied. Despite the impor-
tance of government law, no animal welfare legislation
currently exists in Vietnam, and only minimal legislation
specific to veterinarians and laboratory workers exists in
China. Although Thailand has passed an Animal Anti-
Cruelty and Welfare Act through Parliament and Malaysia
has a proposed Animal Welfare Bill (World Animal
Protection Index 2016), neither has yet been enacted. This
study shows the importance of the presence of animal
welfare law in human behaviour modification for the first
time. Monitoring relevant to animal slaughter and trans-
portation practices was included with government laws,
since legislation is unlikely to be successful unless
monitored effectively to ensure compliance.
In addition, respondents across all countries reported that
they are more encouraged to change their practices to
improve animal welfare if they also ‘see moral value’ in the
change. In contrast to the extrinsic influence of government
laws, moral value and moral reasoning is an intrinsic
Animal Welfare 2017, 26: 417-425
doi: 10.7120/09627286.26.4.417
422 Sinclair et al
influence. Further research into the moral position of
industry stakeholders would provide helpful information in
developing morally based education initiatives around
animal welfare during slaughter and transport. ‘Changes
prescribed by a western international organisation’ ranked
as the least likely to encourage change in all countries,
except Vietnam where changes prescribed by my
community elder community leader ranked lower.
Although some of these notions have been anecdotally
acknowledged in not-for-profit activities (Wildlife SOS
2009; Lapiz et al 2012), this study suggests for the first time
that locally run initiatives, with local knowledge, preferably
reinforced by a legal framework, are most likely to see
engagement and success.
Most respondents, regardless of their country of residence,
agreed that the welfare of animals during slaughter is
important to them, but it was less common for respondents
to have tried to make improvements to welfare in the past.
In addition, while most respondents in all countries
expressed confidence that they could make improvements
to welfare, fewer intended to actually make improvements.
This disparity suggests that people report that animal
welfare is important to them, and that they can make
change, more often than they actually do, and that this was
similar across all countries. For example, a recent study
with veterinary science students found that respondents
were more likely to report caring about animal welfare
issues than they were to take action when a morally
disagreeable action was being performed (Verrinder 2016).
This may suggest that the attitude-behaviour link is not
direct, and may be impacted by additional external factors,
such as a perceived power to change welfare. It is also
possible that, whereas the respondents were truthful in indi-
cating that they had not improved welfare, they were keen
to indicate that they would attempt to do this in future.
Several studies of consumer concern for animal welfare, and
willingness to pay for animal products that attempt to reduce
suffering have found that positive animal welfare attitudes
alone do not necessarily translate into willingness to pay
higher prices for higher welfare animal products (Bennett et al
2002). Other factors such as trust around certification (Nocella
2010) or the sensory properties of the products (Napolitano
2008) may have greater impact on consumer behaviour. This
may suggest applying caution when expecting direct correla-
tions between broad attitudes (such as concern for animals)
and specific behaviours (such as consumer choices). Broad
attitudes probably relate better to broad behaviours and moti-
vations, and it is important to utilise specific questions when
predicting specific behaviours.
In all countries, the importance of animal welfare to the
respondents’ company was considered significant in both
evaluation of animal welfare and perceived ability to make
improvements to animal welfare during both slaughter and
transport. This is understandable in the light of the growing
attempt by large companies to control welfare standards and
the necessity to adhere to company values to ensure
continued employment. In addition, respondents in all
countries tended to agree that knowledge about animal
slaughter and animal transportation practices influenced
their evaluation of animal welfare and their ability to make
improvements. Employees are often limited in their ability
to effect change in laws and workplaces but are able to
increase their personal knowledge. Consequently, education
programmes tailored to stakeholders around improving
animal welfare during slaughter and transport are likely to
result in improvements to animal welfare on the ground.
Cognitive-behavioural training programmes for stock-
people within the livestock industry in Australia have been
advocated (Hemsworth 2003). Further research is suggested
to investigate the methods and models of education most
likely to be successful with stakeholders in the livestock
transport and slaughter industry in Asia.
From this discussion, the highly rated factors that were
common to the respondents of Malaysia, Vietnam, China
and Thailand suggest that animal welfare improvement
programmes should focus on four key areas:
Development, implementation and monitoring of animal
welfare legislation by governments;
• Increasing the importance of animal welfare to companies
in the livestock slaughter and transport industries;
• Improving the animal welfare knowledge of industry
• Researching and developing morally based education
initiatives around animal welfare during slaughter and
Not only did some similarities exist in the most influential
factors in the evaluation and improving of animal welfare
across the countries, some also existed in the least influen-
tial. ‘My monetary gain’ and ‘monetary gain to my
community’ rated amongst the lowest of influencing factors
across all assessed countries. Many respondents may not be
in a position to benefit monetarily from improving animal
welfare; financial benefits may be seen exclusively by
business owners and this may have resulted in the tendency
for non-business owners to report less monetary influence
(Sinclair et al 2017). However, survey respondents may
under report the importance of money in their lives (Rynes
et al 2004), and tend to answer questions in ways that are
viewed more socially desirable (Grimm 2010).
This study also provides evidence that there are country-
specific influences on attitudes towards animal welfare and
factors influencing stakeholders to improve animal welfare.
The key difference between Malaysian respondents and
those in all other countries was the extent to which religion
was an influencing factor in the welfare of animals.
Religion was rated as the most important factor in Malaysia
when evaluating animal welfare during slaughter and
transport, and when considering ability to make improve-
ments specifically during slaughter. In Malaysia, 61% of the
population follow the Islamic faith (PEW Research Centre
2016), which was reflected in respondent demographics. On
a global scale, Malaysia ranks amongst the most religious
countries, with a religiosity score of 81/100 (Win-Gallup
© 2017 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
Asian livestock stakeholders’ attitudes to animal welfare 423
International 2012). This is in contrast to China, which
ranked lowest with a score of 14/100, and Vietnam, also low
with a score of 30/100. In order for meat to be halal (permis-
sible to eat by Muslims), Islamic doctrine mandates a
variety of practices intended to ensure ‘unnecessary
suffering is avoided’, and therefore it is understandable that
it should be highly influential when considering animal
welfare (Halal Food Authority 2016). Although religion
appeared to be a dominant influence on respondents, it is
possible that there were also cultural differences between
our chosen countries that were not captured by our survey.
In addition, compared to respondents from Thailand,
Vietnam and China, Malaysian respondents were more
likely to agree that animal welfare was important to
them, that they have tried to make animal welfare
improvements in the past, and almost all factors included
in the study were considered more important. This may
be attributed to Malaysia being a more developed nation,
ranking 62nd on the UN’s Human Development Index,
compared to China, Thailand and Vietnam which rank
90th, 93rd and 116th, respectively (United Nations
Human Development Index [UN HDI] 2015).
It therefore appears that Malaysian livestock and slaughter
stakeholders are interested in improving animal welfare,
and that engagement of stakeholders through religious
avenues may be beneficial in advancing animal welfare in
this country, in addition to the areas of focus common to all
four countries. To this end, further research to better under-
stand attitudes to animal welfare in halal meat production
systems and how to leverage religion to improve animal
welfare would be beneficial.
Respondents from Thailand were the only ones to report
that the importance of animal welfare to their work
colleagues was a highly influential factor in evaluating
animal welfare, and one of the top factors in both ability to
improve welfare during slaughter and transportation.
Contradictorily, Thai respondents were unlikely to rate
‘seeing others make a change’ as likely to change their
behaviour, which may suggest that the importance of animal
welfare to their peers is not due to a peer pressure conven-
tion of conformity. However, this disparity could suggest
that Thai respondents are fulfilling a cultural priority of
respect for peers in a community-focused culture. In
contrast to respondents in other countries, Thai respondents
also indicated that they are most likely to change their
behaviour if they see moral value in doing so.
In China, the importance of the availability of tools and
resources as an influence on ability to make improvements
to animal welfare during both slaughter and transportation
was evident, whereas this was not an important factor in
Vietnam and possibly Malaysia. Further research to investi-
gate the specific tools and resources that are required to
facilitate improvement to livestock welfare during transport
and slaughter could be of benefit in China.
In contrast to Malaysia, religious beliefs were not important
to respondents in China in influencing attitudes to animal
welfare. This could be explained by the high reported
number of atheists in China (65.5% of Chinese respondents
in this study and 61% in the wider Chinese community;
Crabtree [2010]). Instead it was very common for Chinese
respondents to view the importance of animal welfare in the
workplace and company approval as important influences on
their attitudes towards animal welfare. This and the lack of
influence of personal beliefs on attitudes to animal welfare
suggest that Chinese stakeholders may place more value on
the collective than their personal values and opinions. This is
supported by the Hofstede cultural dimensions scale, which
rates China amongst the highest of the ‘collectivist’ rather
than ‘individualist’ nations, meaning people are more likely
to act in the interests of the group and not necessarily of
themselves (Hofstede Centre 2011). The present study also
suggests that Chinese stakeholders are more focused on
practical influences, which is reflected in their highest rating
for the law, knowledge, tools and resources.
In general, Chinese respondents reported the lowest levels
of importance of animal welfare, were least likely to report
they had tried to improve animal welfare, least likely to
report that they were confident they could improve animal
welfare, and also least likely to report that they intended to
make improvements to animal welfare compared to respon-
dents from other assessed countries. This could be reflective
of a cultural tendency to take more neutral middle point
(less extreme) views in surveys (Church 1987; Harzing
2006), in particular with questions of moral judgment
(Culpepper et al 2002), but it could also be reflective of the
lack of focus on animal welfare in China in the recent past,
which is supported by Phillips et al (2012). In addition to
the introduction of animal welfare legislation, and
company-focused initiatives to build knowledge and
capacity, benefit may be achieved in China by focusing on
disseminating the commercial benefits of improving
welfare for livestock companies.
Respondents in Vietnam were more likely to report law as an
influencing factor in animal welfare, compared to respon-
dents from China. Currently, no legal framework for animal
welfare exists in Vietnam, although it is reportedly under
development (World Animal Protection 2016). This high-
lights the importance of developing legislation in Vietnam,
and suggests that this could be of great benefit to improving
animal welfare in the Vietnamese livestock industry.
Similar to Chinese respondents, Vietnamese respondents
reported that religion and personal beliefs were the least
influential factors in their evaluation of animal welfare, and
their ability to improve it. Both China and Vietnam share a
similar culture, geographical proximity, and a shared history
of communism. These similarities in influencing factors
between China and Vietnam serve to reinforce the fact that
geopolitical and regional culture plays a strong role in
attitude, and should be taken into account when devising
regional strategies for effect change, rather than relying on
geographical nation borders alone.
Animal Welfare 2017, 26: 417-425
doi: 10.7120/09627286.26.4.417
424 Sinclair et al
The primary limitation of this study was the potential for
bias introduced by the recruitment method. The respondents
were recruited from stakeholders who had been invited by
local trainers to attend capacity-building workshops on
animal welfare, possibly because they were thought to have
an interest in animal welfare. If these people were more
interested than other stakeholders in animal welfare they
may not have been representative of the wider population of
industry stakeholders. In an attempt to reduce this potential
for bias towards stakeholders interested in animal welfare,
all country co-ordinators and local trainers were advised of
the selection criteria for the workshops; which included
employment within the livestock industry in their country,
and ability to attend the workshop. Attendees were not
invited based on a proclaimed interest in animal welfare.
Animal welfare implications
For parties interested in advancing animal welfare in the
region, the results of this study suggest that advocating for
and facilitating the development of animal welfare legisla-
tion, building awareness of current legislation, and moni-
toring and enforcement of legislation would be a valuable
strategy. This could represent an opportunity to strengthen
and reinforce international OIE guidelines, building
awareness around accountability to meet these requirements,
and a base from which new laws and law reform can develop.
The influence of the workplace on ability to improve animal
welfare during slaughter and transport demonstrated in this
study suggests that building awareness amongst business
managers, owners and supervisors about the benefits of
improving animal welfare may increase the likelihood of
engaging business managers and employees in efforts to
improve animal welfare. Businesses should be encouraged
to incorporate higher welfare standards into key perform-
ance indicators and initiate company-based training
workshops to harness the power of their influence and
empower improvements to animal welfare during slaughter
and transport in their industry. More fundamentally, the
findings of this study suggest that engagement of stake-
holders in animal welfare improvement initiatives will be
more likely when initiatives are tailored to local audiences.
The influence of government laws, the influence of the
workplace and the influence of personal knowledge were
shared by stakeholders in all countries in regards to attitudes
to animal welfare. The significant influence of seeing moral
benefit to behaviour change demonstrated in this study
indicates that it may be beneficial to incorporate ethical and
moral reasoning activities into corporate training
programmes, in addition to focusing on the commercial
benefits of animal welfare improvements.
Specifically in Malaysia, religion was a very strong
motivator for people to change their practices in order to
improve animal welfare. Consequently, future animal
welfare initiatives, particularly those seeking to improve
animal welfare during slaughter could benefit from seeking
to engage religious leaders and scholars in sanctioning and
introducing better slaughter practices (such as stunning).
The country in which the respondents lived was a signifi-
cant factor influencing stakeholders’ attitudes to animal
welfare during slaughter and transport in the Asia Pacific
region. In addition, changes prescribed by western interna-
tional organisations were rarely cited as an influence to
change practice across all countries. This highlights the
importance of understanding and engaging local communi-
ties in initiatives, tailoring the initiatives to the relevant
culture, and encouraging local leadership.
Further research could focus on the key factors that emerged
as most influential in this study, for example, targeted focus
groups and/or interviews with key stakeholders which were
identified in this study (such as religious leaders in Malaysia
and company directors in Thai livestock industries).
This project was a collaboration between the University of
Queensland in Australia, and University Putra Malaysia,
under the framework of the New Zealand and Australia
World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Collaborating
Centre for Animal Welfare and Bioethical Analysis. It was
funded by the New Zealand Government Ministry of
Primary Industries, the European Commission via the
World Animal Health Organisation, World Animal
Protection, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), the Malaysian
Government Department of Veterinary Services via UPM,
and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture,
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doi: 10.7120/09627286.26.4.417
... This situation may be linked to the fact that the science of animal welfare originated in the Western countries, and this concept was only introduced in China mainland in the early 1990s, making it a very young discipline in this country [11,18]. For the last 20 years, China has tried to address animal welfare issues through some low level legislation regarding the aspects of farm animal rearing, transport, and slaughter, which are mainly based on food safety concerns [19]. The development and improvement of animal welfare measures and legislation in China require to first understand and improve its key stakeholders' attitude towards animals. ...
... Different surveys to assess the attitudes towards animal welfare of different animal industry stakeholders have been carried out in China in the past [17,19,[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47], including some on college students [13,[48][49][50]. College students-particularly those from veterinary, animal, agricultural, and life sciences majors-represent the future generation of professionals who will work closely with animal industry stakeholders who will be influenced on how animals will be raised and treated. ...
... Among students, females showed better attitudes towards animals than males. Significant gender differences exist in animal welfare attitudes in the literature [13,19,28,[62][63][64][65][66][67]. In general, females represent the primary family caretakers, which makes them more prone to develop positive attitudes that can go beyond the family care and be extended to animals [68]. ...
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... Previous studies have also identified factors that influence the attitudes of stock handlers toward animal welfare, and these may apply to live export workers. Southeast and East Asian stakeholders identified demographic factors such as gender, religion, and previous experience with farm animals as influential [24][25][26]. In addition, level of training [5,26,27], working conditions such as salary, respect, and job satisfaction, can impact worker attitudes [15]. ...
... It is not possible to verify how people will act in their workplaces based on survey data, and intention alone does not confirm how people will behave in a specific context. Sinclair et al. [24] surveyed stakeholders' attitudes toward livestock transport and slaughter in Southeast and East Asia. Most participants in their study expressed positive attitudes toward improving animal welfare by indicating that welfare was important to them; however, fewer respondents agreed that they intended to make improvements to the welfare of animals. ...
... Roles varied in religiosity, with participants from Australia or New Zealand less likely to hold religious beliefs than those of other nationalities who were predominantly Christian or Islamic. Religion has been reported as an influencing factor for beliefs regarding transport and slaughter of livestock [24,25] but did not affect responses in our study. Formal training in livestock handling has been recognized to influence attitudes toward animal welfare [5,26,27]; however, despite the discrepancy in formal training reported by workers, this had limited influence on our results. ...
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... Additional studies have begun to investigate attitudes in focus groups of Chinese industry stakeholders, in which the importance of economic factors, mutual benefits and financial incentives connected to welfare, such as improved animal productivity, food safety, and above all, quality, were demonstrated [14]. Chinese stakeholders have indicated that the law, governance, the availability of tools and resources, and knowledge are important drivers behind their attitudes to animal welfare, and the workplace hierarchy and the extent to which animal welfare improvements were approved of within the workplace was perceived as highly influential in regarding ability to improve welfare in China [15]. This confirms the importance of the 'power distance' cultural dimension in Chinese society. ...
... This study aims to build on an earlier survey study that investigated attitudes to animal welfare of stakeholders involved in slaughter and transport [15], by focussing on stakeholders in the farming systems, including investigation of their attitudes to the animals. Poultry and pork producing farms were the focus, given the significance of these species in China, which is home to half of the global population of pigs [17], and the largest chicken production industry in the world, double that of their closest competitors (Indonesia and the United States) [18]. ...
... An animal has good welfare if its needs are being met and hence it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express important behaviour and not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear and distress' [21]. The survey was based on a previously tested survey tool that aimed to investigate attitudes to animal welfare, along with motivations and barriers to improving animal welfare, and had been used by the same researchers in previous studies [15,22,23]. Some targeted attitude questions were added that sought to identify farmers' attitudes to various welfare-related components of pig and poultry farming systems, whichever was relevant, and to the animals themselves (see survey items in appendix). ...
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... Animal welfare, as a science, focuses on the experience of the animal [17], however the development and implementation of welfare standards is a human construct, given that humans are responsible for almost all decisions that affect the welfare of the animals in their care. This human element is complex, influenced by a diverse range of factors including gender, religion, nationality, personality, and affluence [9,[18][19][20][21]. The interpretation of the multi-dimensional concepts that comprise animal welfare [17] is also influenced by stakeholder group membership. ...
... The questionnaire was adapted from research developed, validated, and published under the AWSP [18,54,58]. The original questionnaire, and the adapted one used in this study, were developed in collaboration with researchers from China. ...
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Globally, China is one of the largest producers and exporters of meat, and animal welfare is an emerging focal issue for Chinese society and for primary producers. We assessed the effectiveness of a “train the trainer” program to increase awareness of animal welfare issues in stakeholders in the livestock industries of China. Chinese abattoir employees were trained in slaughter and transportation standards in either a classroom setting or using posted materials. They subsequently held training sessions within their own workplace and the participants were surveyed either before (n = 161) or after (n = 147) their training. The post-training group had more confidence to improve the welfare of animals in their care than the pre-training group (p = 0.03), and also scored better on the knowledge section of the survey (p = 0.006) only when the facilitator was trained in the classroom setting. The participants’ knowledge of animal welfare was also affected by living area (p = 0.005) and education (p = 0.005). Participants with the least formal education (to middle school only) scored lower than all other participants. Female respondents reported more positive attitudes towards animal welfare than males (p = 0.009). These results indicate that training can effectively improve stakeholder knowledge on animal welfare during slaughter and transport, however, the mode of delivery has an important influence on learning success, and participant demographics, such as gender and education level, need to be considered when preparing training material.
... While researchers have found that some Chinese livestock stakeholders report an intention to improve animal welfare (13), stakeholders also find it difficult to implement specific improvements (e.g., providing quality bedding, reducing painful procedures) (11). These earlier studies used pre-established definitions of animal welfare (12,14), or researcher-generated categories (e.g., bedding, painful procedures) (11), which may fail to reflect the priorities of participants. Platto et al. (11) suggested that further qualitative research is needed to understand why some farmers perceive animal welfare as important but difficult to implement. ...
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‘Animal welfare' (动物福利) is a foreign term in China, and stakeholder interpretations can affect receptiveness to the concept. Our aim was to explore workers' perceptions of animal welfare on two dairies in China. We used a mini-ethnographic case study design, with the first author (MC) living for 38 days on one farm and 23 days on a second farm. MC conducted semi-structured interviews ( n = 13) and participant observations ( n = 41) with farm management and staff. We used template analysis to generate key themes from the ethnographic data. Responses revealed a connection between human and animal welfare. Workers saw human welfare as a prerequisite to animal welfare, and cattle welfare as potentially mutually beneficial to humans. Some workers also saw an ethical obligation toward providing cattle with good welfare. Though some workers were unfamiliar with the term ‘animal welfare,' in daily practice caring for cattle led farm workers to ponder, prioritize, and make decisions relevant to welfare including lameness, morbidity, and nutrition. Workers in management positions appeared to embrace evidence-based animal care improvements, especially those which were perceived to also benefit people. Based on our findings, we suggest animal welfare initiatives should (1) consider worker welfare, (2) clearly communicate the concept of ‘animal welfare,' (3) identify mutual benefits, and (4) provide pragmatic, evidence-based strategies to improve welfare.
... This is important because animal production might be different in countries with a different socioeconomic development. For example, Sinclair et al., showed that nationality was the most important predictor influencing attitude during slaughter and transport in stakeholders in SE and E Asia [26]. In contrast, most cross-cultural studies have compared two or three countries. ...
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Animal Welfare Attitudes (AWA) can be defined as the attitudes of humans towards the welfare of animals. Although AWA has been previously associated with demographic factors as gender, one of the main limitations is that few studies applied robust psychometric questionnaire scales. Moreover, some evidence of cross-cultural variations in AWA have been reported although limited by the reduced number of countries being examined. To overcome these limitations, a survey aimed at assessing the gender differences in AWA in university students living in 22 nations, based on a questionnaire having undergone psychometric testing (i.e., the Composite Respect for Animals Scale Short version, CRAS-S), was carried out. To this end, the CRAS-S was administered to 7914 people (5155 women, 2711 men, 48 diverse) alongside a questionnaire on demographic information and diet. Moreover, the gender inequality index, based on indicators as completion of secondary education, was computed. The main results showed that diet was significantly related to AWA; more in detail, higher AWA was observed in vegans compared to omnivores. Moreover, gender differences in AWA have been reported, with women referring higher AWA compared to men. In addition, to the decreasing of gender inequality, gender differences in AWA increased.
... In-depth discussion with the same stakeholders suggested that the key ways to increase the uptake of the practice is, firstly, to dispel the perception that stunning negatively impacts meat taste and quality (particularly in south China), secondly, by increasing the accessibility of suitable equipment, and, lastly, providing technical training on usage to operators [48]. As with most animal welfare challenges in China, legislation could be a powerful motivator, however while it is a difficult element of the animal welfare landscape to resolve as long as it remains absent, it does offer a shortcut to motivate uptake of animal welfare practices, including pre-slaughter stunning [49]. Pre-slaughter stunning practices are not used in mainland China at this point, except a few of the major production companies [48]. ...
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Farm animal welfare in the People’s Republic of China (henceforth, China) is not well represented in the international scientific literature. This may lead researchers, advocates and those with agricultural partnerships in China to assume that animal welfare is not a field of interest there. This study reports a literature review of published pig and poultry welfare research in China using Chinese scientific databases. We aimed to determine which areas of welfare research have recently received academic attention in China. From an understanding of areas being studied, current and emerging priority areas for research could be determined. This study identified 854 academic publications citing pig or chicken welfare in China published between 2008 and 2018. Within these publications, two broader areas of significant attention were addressed in the context of animal welfare; yield and product quality, such as feeding, biosecurity and antimicrobial resistance, including immunity and second, the relationship of animal welfare with the Chinese philosophy of ‘ecological agriculture.’ Holistic systems were advocated to maximize sustainability and maintain a healthy environment, such as the creation of fermented bedding for pigs. Environmental enrichment was also a focus of attention, demonstrating an interest in animals’ mental welfare, which was usually conjectured from their behavior. Few of the articles were translated into English or other languages and therefore most were largely unavailable to the English-speaking global scientific community. This presents an opportunity to provide relevant animal welfare knowledge, which could improve animal welfare globally. China is a global animal trade leader and the home of the largest agricultural industries in the world. An increase in collaboration on animal welfare research and understanding of the advancements that have been made in China, as reviewed in this manuscript, could advance farm animal welfare from a global perspective.
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As the world's largest livestock producer, China has made some progress to improve farm animal welfare in recent years. Recognizing the importance of locally led initiatives, this study aimed to engage the knowledge and perspectives of Chinese leaders in order to identify opportunities to further improve farm animal welfare in China. A team of Chinese field researchers engaged 100 senior stakeholders in the agriculture sector (livestock business leaders, agriculture strategists and intellectuals, government representatives, licensed veterinarians, agriculture lawyers, and national animal welfare advocates). Participants completed a Chinese questionnaire hosted on a national platform. The raw data responses were then translated and subjected to qualitative and quantitative analyses from which themes were built and resulting recommendations were made. The findings of this study urge emphasis on the ties between improved animal welfare with food safety, product quality, and profit, and demonstrate the existence of animal welfare opportunities outside of the immediate introduction of specific animal protection legislation. The resulting applications are anticipated to be of strategic use to stakeholders interested in improving farm animal welfare in China.
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Simple Summary Improving stakeholder attitudes to livestock welfare may help to facilitate the better welfare that is increasingly demanded by the public for livestock. Knowledge of the existing attitudes towards the welfare of livestock during transport and slaughter provides a starting point that may help to target efforts. We compared the attitudes of different stakeholders within the livestock industries in east (E) and southeast (SE) Asia. Farmers were more motivated to improve animal welfare during transport and slaughter by peer pressure, business owners by monetary gain, and business managers by what is prescribed by their company. Veterinarians showed the most support for improving animal welfare. The results suggest that the role that stakeholders play in their sector of the livestock industry must be considered when attempting to change attitudes towards animal welfare during transport and slaughter. Abstract Stakeholders in the livestock industry are in a position to make critical choices that directly impact on animal welfare during slaughter and transport. Understanding the attitudes of stakeholders in livestock-importing countries, including factors that motivate the stakeholders to improve animal welfare, can lead to improved trade relations with exporting developed countries and improved animal welfare initiatives in the importing countries. Improving stakeholder attitudes to livestock welfare may help to facilitate the better welfare that is increasingly demanded by the public for livestock. Knowledge of the existing attitudes towards the welfare of livestock during transport and slaughter provides a starting point that may help to target efforts. This study aimed to investigate the animal welfare attitudes of livestock stakeholders (farmers, team leaders, veterinarians, business owners, business managers, and those working directly with animals) in selected countries in E and SE Asia (China, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Malaysia). The factors that motivated them to improve animal welfare (in particular their religion, knowledge levels, monetary gain, the availability of tools and resources, more pressing community issues, and the approval of their supervisor and peers) were assessed for their relationships to stakeholder role and ranked according to their importance. Stakeholder roles influenced attitudes to animal welfare during livestock transport and slaughter. Farmers were more motivated by their peers compared to other stakeholders. Business owners reported higher levels of motivation from monetary gain, while business managers were mainly motivated by what was prescribed by the company for which they worked. Veterinarians reported the highest levels of perceived approval for improving animal welfare, and all stakeholder groups were least likely to be encouraged to change by a ‘western’ international organization. This study demonstrates the differences in attitudes of the major livestock stakeholders towards their animals’ welfare during transport and slaughter, which advocacy organisations can use to tailor strategies more effectively to improve animal welfare. The results suggest that animal welfare initiatives are more likely to engage their target audience when tailored to specific stakeholder groups.
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The Five Freedoms have had major impact on animal welfare thinking internationally. However, despite clear initial statements that the words ‘freedom from’ should indicate ‘as free as possible from’, the Freedoms have come to be represented as absolute or fundamental freedoms, even rights, by some animal advocate and other groups. Moreover, a marked increase in scientific understanding over the last two decades shows that the Freedoms do not capture the more nuanced knowledge of the biological processes that is germane to understanding animal welfare and which is now available to guide its management. For example, the named negative experiences of thirst, hunger, discomfort and pain, and others identified subsequently, including breathlessness, nausea, dizziness, debility, weakness and sickness, can never be eliminated, merely temporarily neutralised. Each one is a genetically embedded element that motivates animals to behave in particular ways to obtain specific life-sustaining resources, avoid or reduce physical harm or facilitate recovery from infection or injury. Their undoubted negativity creates a necessary sense of urgency to respond, without which animals would not survive. Also, the temporary neutralisation of these survival-critical affects does not in and of itself generate positive experience. This questions the commonly held assumption that good animal welfare will result when these internally generated negative affects are minimised. Animals may also experience other negative affects that include anxiety, fear, panic, frustration, anger, helplessness, loneliness, boredom and depression. These situation-related affects reflect animals’ perceptions of their external circumstances. Although they are elicited by threatening, cramped, barren and/or isolated conditions, they can often be replaced by positive affects when animals are kept with congenial others in spacious, stimulus-rich and safe environments which provide opportunities for them to engage in behaviours they find rewarding. These behaviours may include environment-focused exploration and food acquisition activities as well as animal-to-animal interactive activities, all of which can generate various forms of comfort, pleasure, interest, confidence and a sense of control. Animal welfare management should aim to reduce the intensity of survival-critical negative affects to tolerable levels that nevertheless still elicit the required behaviours, and should also provide opportunities for animals to behave in ways they find rewarding, noting that poor management of survival-critical affects reduces animals’ motivation to utilize such rewarding opportunities. This biologically more accurate understanding provides support for reviewing the adequacy of provisions in current codes of welfare or practice in order to ensure that animals are given greater opportunities to experience positive welfare states. The purpose is to help animals to have lives worth living, which is not possible when the predominant focus of such codes is on survival-critical measures. Finally, an updated characterisation of animal welfare that incorporates this more accurate understanding is presented.
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Research dealing with various aspects of* the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985, 1987) is reviewed, and some unresolved issues are discussed. In broad terms, the theory is found to be well supported by empirical evidence. Intentions to perform behaviors of different kinds can be predicted with high accuracy from attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; and these intentions, together with perceptions of behavioral control, account for considerable variance in actual behavior. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are shown to be related to appropriate sets of salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about the behavior, but the exact nature of these relations is still uncertain. Expectancy— value formulations are found to be only partly successful in dealing with these relations. Optimal rescaling of expectancy and value measures is offered as a means of dealing with measurement limitations. Finally, inclusion of past behavior in the prediction equation is shown to provide a means of testing the theory*s sufficiency, another issue that remains unresolved. The limited available evidence concerning this question shows that the theory is predicting behavior quite well in comparison to the ceiling imposed by behavioral reliability.
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This paper reviews the literature on human attitudes to animals, and postulates the existence of two primary motivational determinants of attitudes labelled 'affect' and 'utility'. It also proposes that the relative strengths of these key attitude dimensions are affected by various modifying variables including the specific attributes of the animal, the individual characteristics and experience of the person evaluating the animal, and a range of cultural factors. The role of science as a cultural modifier of human attitudes to animals is also discussed.
Attitudes to animals have been extensively studied for people in developed countries, but not for those in developing countries. The attitudes of prospective stakeholders in the livestock sectors in south-east and east Asia toward transport and slaughter were examined by surveying university students studying veterinary medicine and animal science in Malaysia, Thailand, China and Vietnam, with a total of 739 students taking part. Students had greater acceptability of transport than slaughter issues for livestock, and female students found most transport and slaughter issues of greater concern than male students. Veterinary students were more accepting of several issues than animal science students, in particular killing animals that were injured or ill. Religion had a major effect on attitudes. Muslim students found using animals that died naturally for products least acceptable. Compared to them, Hindu students were less accepting of killing injured or ill animals and Buddhist students less accepting of euthanasing healthy pets. Students with more experience of pets were less accepting of both transport and slaughter issues. It is concluded that concern was exhibited by future stakeholders in the SE and E Asian livestock industries for slaughter and, to a lesser extent, transport issues, although attitudes were influenced by their religion, gender and experience of pet-keeping.
Social desirability bias refers to the tendency of research subjects to give socially desirable responses instead of choosing responses that are reflective of their true feelings. The bias in responses due to this personality trait becomes a major issue when the scope of the study involves socially sensitive issues such as politics, religion, and environment, or personal issues such as drug use, cheating, and smoking. Whenever possible, it is desirable to measure the extent of the bias present in responses to a survey by incorporating a socially desirable scale in the survey. A number of methods to address this issue are suggested in the literature. Use of a well-trained interviewer or collection of data through methods that do not require presence involvement of an interviewer can help avoid this bias to some extent. Properly identified options to questions vulnerable to social desirability effect is another means of tackling this issue. Keywords: social desirability bias; social desirability scale; response bias; demand effects; social norms
Some studies suggest that Asian overconfidence leads to extreme response bias for Chinese survey respondents, while others claim that Confucian modesty norms lead to a cautious or midpoint bias. We propose a means of reconciling existing theoretical divergence and analyzed a sample of Chinese and American managers to test this proposition. According to MANOVA results, specific knowledge and nomothetic rating tasks engendered more extreme and fewer midpoint responses for Chinese than American managers, while idiographic rating tasks exhibited the opposite pattern. Results suggest that response bias is a major problem in research comparing Chinese and American respondents and that both extreme and midpoint response bias affects both groups depending on the type of rating task employed.
Although many cross-cultural studies have used nations as the units of analysis, the concept of national culture has been challenged on various grounds. One objection is that there may be significant cultural diversity within some countries and similarities across national borders, compromising the concept of national culture. This objection has little empirical support. We used latest World Values Survey data and found that 299 in-country regions from 28 countries in East and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Anglo world overwhelmingly cluster along national lines on basic cultural values, cross-border intermixtures being relatively rare. This is true even of countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, or Mexico and Guatemala, despite their shared official languages, religions, ethnic groups, historical experiences, and various traditions. Even the regions of neighboring African nations, such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali, do not intermix much when they are clustered on the basis of cultural values.
Research in a number of livestock industries has shown that interactions between stockpeople and their animals can limit the productivity and welfare of these animals. While many of these interactions are routinely and, at times, habitually used by stockpeople, the frequent use of some of these routine behaviours can result in farm animals becoming highly fearful of humans. It is these high fear levels, through stress, that appear to limit animal productivity and welfare. This research has also shown that an important antecedent of stockperson behaviour is the attitude of the stockperson towards interacting with his or her farm animals. Intervention studies in the dairy and pig industries have shown the potential of cognitive-behavioural intervention techniques designed to specifically target those attitudes and behaviours of stockpeople that have a direct effect on animal fear, welfare and productivity.It is recommended that such cognitive-behavioural training programs for stockpeople are introduced in the livestock industries. Selection tools targeting the important human characteristics that affect work performance may also be valuable not only to select stockpeople but also to identify experienced and inexperienced stockpeople that require training. More extensive research is also required to identify the full range of stockperson interactions that have implication for farm animals. In addition to identifying the aversive elements of handling, the rewarding elements of human–animal interactions for animals should be identified and the opportunities to utilise these rewarding elements to alleviate some of the aversive interactions, that are at times necessary in livestock production, should be explored.
The aim of this study was to evaluate welfare status and the implementation of Regulation (EC) 1/2005 during the gathering and loading of deer (Cervus elaphus) bred for meat in Northern Italy. Four journeys overland along with related operations of 45 deer, destined for game farms, were observed over a period of four months. Planning, animal-management procedures, equipment and facilities, such as enclosures and corridors, influenced the success of the operations and affected the safety of animals and operators. Environmental factors, such as land inclination, were also extremely influential. Elements of the gathering technique led to stress and hyperventilation in a number of animals that were rounded up. Chemical restraint of deer was complicated by consequent physical manipulation and an inability to control withdrawal periods in game reserves. Where facilities were specific to deer, animals displayed no signs of distress and loading was carried out in the absence of stressful behaviour. Instances in which means of transport were nonspecific for deer were characterised by falls, escape and trauma during loading and unloading. Where operators had been trained and had extensive knowledge of deer physiology and behaviour, welfare and the safety of professionals were promoted along with an overall regard for the relevant legislation. This study demonstrates a number of the challenges associated with deer transport and related activities. The paucity of specific legislation regarding the management and transport of farmed deer and the absence of European standard procedures have created a lack of harmonisation in transport procedures, ultimately jeopardising the welfare of deer.