How and why animal welfare concerns evolve in developing countries

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In developing countries, animal welfare concerns do not receive the same recognition as they do in higher-income countries, from policy and law, through to consumer awareness and purchasing options.

While traditional farmers often have close bonds with their animals, knowledge and action gaps often limit more animal-friendly production.

In some developing countries, livestock production has already largely commercialized and intensified. In these countries, citizens are becoming increasingly aware and sensitive to animal welfare issues, but animal welfare does not yet affect purchasing decisions.

In a new article published in Animal Frontiers (Feb 2023), scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute, the University of Bonn, the University of Göttingen and the University of Edinburgh give an overview of animal welfare issues in developing countries, based on case studies from a number of countries including China, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan and Somalia.

In their review, the authors note that future scenarios with higher animal welfare are possible, but will require joint efforts by various stakeholders in the livestock sector.

Overall, they say that much more research on animal welfare perceptions in developing countries is needed.

Parlasca, M., Knößlsdorfer, I., Alemayehu, G. and Doyle, R. 2023. How and why animal welfare concerns evolve in developing countries. Animal Frontiers 13(1): 26–33.

Photo credit: Hargeisa livestock market in Somaliland (ILRI/Peter Ballantyne)

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