Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 78, No 3 (2013)

Citizens’ View on Veal Calves’ Fattening System in Italy and Animal Welfare

Marta BRSCIC, Flaviana GOTTARDO, Giulio COZZI

Pages: 249-253


Aims of this study were to assess citizens’ view on the current veal calves’ fattening system in Italy and on animal welfare, and to find relationships with veal meat consumption. Socio-demographic characteristics, veal meat consumption habits, knowledge of veal calves rearing system and animal welfare attitudes of 100 citizens were investigated through a questionnaire submitted on a voluntary base in supermarkets/butcher shops. Results showed that 61 respondents were veal meat consumers and the remaining 39 were non-consumers. A large proportion of respondents were aware of the modern veal calves rearing system but their knowledge as such did not affect veal meat consumption. Non-consumers declared they didn’t like veal meat organoleptic characteristics, opposed the production system or considered it too expensive. Most citizens sustained animal welfare but no correlations were found between concerns for animal welfare and veal meat consumption/purchase (rs < |0.17|; P > 0.05). Citizens conceptualized animal welfare through the aspects of care animals received by the farmer and veterinarian and of healthy feed for animals. It could be concluded that consumers don’t really think of animal welfare while buying or having meat, and they still have idealised notions of naturality, traditional farming, free-range and small scale production linked to farm animal production.


veal calf; fattening system; animal welfare; consumer attitude; meat

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