Attachment to Livestock and Attitudes Toward Large Carnivores Among Sheep Farmers in Norway

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The present study investigated the relationship between emotional investment and attachment to livestock among Norwegian sheep farmers, and their perception of large predators such as the wolf, bear, lynx and wolverine. Most studies on attachment have focused on infants and children. However, more recently, the effects of pet ownership on child development have received increased attention among researchers. In the current work we hypothesized that attachment to livestock would affect the attitudes towards large carnivores. Based on questionnaire data from 491 respondents, a structural equation model (SEM) was set up to test this assumption. Results showed that attachment to livestock significantly predicted attitudes toward carnivores. In particular, negative attitudes were strongly related to attachment in such a way that the deeper the attachment farmers had for livestock, the more negative were their attitudes towards the predators. This article discusses the need for a differentiation among attachment to various kinds of animals in order to understand attitudinal relationships with carnivores.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 1998

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