Animal Welfare: The Triple ThreatPosted: February 27, 2012
I realize “threat” could carry a negative connotation. In this post, it’s supposed to carry a positive connotation. As in Michael Jordan was a triple threat on the court!
I was recently perusing the following pdf: “A comprehensive review of housing for pregnant sows” Task Force Report. I realize the focus of this report was on housing for pregnant sows. However, they addressed the components of animal welfare strikingly well. A study conducted in the Netherlands referenced in the report sums up how different segments of society interpret animal welfare.
1. Producers: “tended to believe that health and normal biological function were good evidence of good animal welfare.”
2. Consumers: “tended to focus on the animal’s ability to live a reasonably natural life.”
3. Ethicists and Social Critics: “identified suffering and other affective [related to moods, feelings and attitudes] states as central concerns.”
I feel the above 3 principles represent a truly all-encompassing “triple threat” regarding animal welfare. I think each group needs to recognize the preferences of other groups with regard to interpretation of animal welfare. Personally, I tend to focus on number 2. But only with all 3 concerns will we have a satisfactory approach to animal welfare.