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Assessing Animal Welfare and Farm Profitability in Cow-Calf Operations with Stochastic Partial Budgeting

Ahmed, Haseeb and Alvåsen, Karin and Berg, Charlotte and Hansson, Helena and Hultgren, Jan and Röcklinsberg, Helena and Emanuelson, Ulf (2021). Assessing Animal Welfare and Farm Profitability in Cow-Calf Operations with Stochastic Partial Budgeting. Animals. 11 , 382
[Research article]

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Abstract

Simple SummaryThe increased consumer demand for high levels of farm animal welfare (FAW) have prompted debates about the costs of achieving higher FAW. Yet, little is known about the economic consequences of improvements in FAW, especially in cow-calf operations. This study contributes to the literature by investigating the relationship between farm profitability and improved FAW measure in terms of increased space allowance in Swedish cow-calf operations. We found that a 0.5 m(2) increase in space allowance per calf (achieved by a corresponding reduction of herd size) was associated with a 6.9 to 18.7% reduction in farm-level contribution margins in the short term. Our results suggest that FAW improvements can be costly for farms and these costs should be considered while taking policy decisions regarding improvements in FAW standards.The societal demand for good farm animal welfare (FAW) has increased over time. Yet, very little is known about the economic consequences of improvements in FAW in cow-calf operations. This study investigates on-farm economic consequences of improved FAW measures in cow-calf operations. It uses a stochastic partial budgeting approach to examine the relationship between contribution margins and improvements in FAW in terms of increased space allowance for a typical Swedish cow-calf operation, as compared to current practices. In the current practice, a cow should be given at least 5 m(2) and the calf 2.2 m(2). We found that a 0.5 m(2) increase in space allowance per calf (achieved by a corresponding reduction of herd size) was associated with a 6.9 to 18.7% reduction in contribution margins in the short term. Our analysis does not include possible indirect gains like decrease in disease incidence and enhanced non-use or 'soft' values associated with increased FAW. However, our analysis indicates that high FAW standards can be costly and careful cost-benefit analysis should be a part of decision-making processes regarding FAW standards. Our results also suggest a need for government support payments and/or the development of market mechanisms to stimulate farmers to continue producing livestock-based foods with high FAW.

Authors/Creators:Ahmed, Haseeb and Alvåsen, Karin and Berg, Charlotte and Hansson, Helena and Hultgren, Jan and Röcklinsberg, Helena and Emanuelson, Ulf
Title:Assessing Animal Welfare and Farm Profitability in Cow-Calf Operations with Stochastic Partial Budgeting
Series Name/Journal:Animals
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:11
Article number:382
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2076-2615
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Keywords:beef production, cow-calf operations, farm animal welfare, profitability, stochastic partial budgeting analysis, suckler beef, Sweden
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111083
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111083
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/ani11020382
Web of Science (WoS)000622053600001
ID Code:22800
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 Mar 2021 09:43
Metadata Last Modified:19 Mar 2021 09:51

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