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Title: Stakeholder Perceptions of Welfare Issues and Indicators for Extensively Managed Sheep in Australia
Contributor(s): Doughty, Amanda  (author); Coleman, Grahame J (author); Hinch, Geoffrey  (author)orcid ; Doyle, Rebecca E (author)
Publication Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.3390/ani7040028Open Access Link
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Abstract: An online survey was designed to form the basis of a framework for the welfare assessment of extensively managed sheep in Australia. The survey focused on welfare compromise and useful welfare indicators. A total of 952 people completed the survey in its entirety, representing four stakeholder groups: Public (53.6%), Producer (27.4%), Scientist (9.9%), and Service provider (9.1%). Animal welfare was considered to be important by all participating groups in this survey (average score of 3.78/4). Respondents felt the welfare of grazing sheep was generally adequate but improvement was desired (2.98/5), with female members of the public rating sheep welfare significantly worse than other respondents (p < 0.05). Environmental issues were considered to pose the greatest risk to welfare (3.87/5), followed by heat stress (3.79), lameness (3.57) and husbandry practices (3.37). Key indicators recognised by all respondents were those associated with pain and fear (3.98/5), nutrition (4.23), mortality/management (4.27), food on offer (4.41) and number of illness/injures in a flock (4.33). There were gender and stakeholder differences in the perceived importance of both welfare issues and indicators with women and the public consistently rating issues (all p < 0.01) and indicators (all p < 0.05) to be of greater significance than other respondents. These results highlight the importance of including all stakeholders and an even balance of genders when developing a welfare framework that can address both practical and societal concerns.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animals, v.7 (4)
Publisher: MDPIAG
Place of Publication: Switzerland
ISSN: 2076-2615
Field of Research (FOR): 070207 Humane Animal Treatment
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 839901 Animal Welfare
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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