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Animal welfare measures affect the profitability of Swedish milk, beef production

25 July 2022

Animal welfare measures affect the profitability of Swedish milk and beef production. Secondary and long-term effects of animal welfare strategies and the perceived value of animal welfare must be taken into account.

Society's demands for good animal welfare and the costs this entails at the same time as imported food is produced with less strict animal welfare regulations have led to in-depth discussions in the industry.

This is relevant as Sweden in many respects has stricter requirements than other countries.

"Good animal welfare can have a value in itself and can provide benefits for animals, farmers and society. Animal welfare is important for animal well-being and it is ensured through animal regulations. But at the same time, animal welfare efforts can reduce the financial returns on farms with cattle, but more research is needed," said researcher Ulf Emanuelson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Through policy and regulation, it might be possible to convert functional animal welfare values to monetary terms without losing respect for intrinsic values (for the animal itself). Marketable product attributes or public policies and subsidies can still maintain or even improve profitability, without sacrificing animal welfare.

Download the policy brief. 



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