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Poll: Farm Animal Welfare

A survey of rural Nebraskans finds that although animal welfare is a concern for most, many believe it should be left in farmers’ hands.


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A poll conducted earlier this year by the Center for Applied Rural Innovation found some interesting perceptionsand contradictionsabout animal welfare. Roughly 2,500 rural Nebraskans shared their beliefs about the treatment of farm animals, and while 95 percent agreed that animal welfare means providing adequate food, water, and shelter, 69 percent said that it should also include adequate exercise, space, and social activities. However, 84 percent also believed that livestock farmers and their veterinarians were the best authorities on how to care for their animals, and 56 percent agree that current regulations are sufficient to ensure the welfare of livestock. Between 30 and 40 percent of participants had personal experience with raising chickens or cattle in the past or present, which likely impacted many of their attitudes.

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