CONSUMER SURVEY OUTLINES PORK PERCEPTION ISSUES
National Hog Farmer (source: Purdue University), Dec. 15, 2012
In an effort to gauge consumer perceptions of livestock production, Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Animal Sciences conducted a consumer survey last summer. The survey of 798 participants from a nationally representative sample collected information regarding livestock product purchasing characteristics, perceptions of pig welfare and sources of animal welfare information.
Regarding familiarity with livestock production, participants were asked when they last visited a farm that raised animals for meat, milk or egg production. Only 31% had visited such a farm within the last five years. Nearly one-third of participants had never visited such a farm.
Nearly 75% of consumers reported that they had not seen media stories regarding pig welfare.
When asked which sources they frequented the most, they cited the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In fact, more people turned to the HSUS and PETA for animal welfare information than industry groups, government agencies and scientific sources combined (Figure 2).
Fourteen percent of consumers stated that they had reduced pork consumption by an average of 56% from their previous consumption over the past three years due to animal welfare concerns.
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