Measuring Public Support for Animal Welfare Legislation: A Case Study of Cage Egg Production
A contingent valuation survey of 2000 people in Great Britain was conducted to find out about people's concerns about farm animal welfare and their willingness to pay to support legislation to phase out the use of cages in egg production in the European Union (EU) by 2005. The survey found that respondents were concerned about a range of farm animal welfare issues, and that the majority supported the proposed legislation and stated that they were willing to pay a significant increase on the current price of eggs to support it. People's willingness to pay to support the legislation would appear to outweigh the extra resource costs of producing eggs without using cages. However, possible sources of bias in the survey and the validity of the willingness to pay measure estimated are discussed. It is concluded that such measures must be interpreted with caution, but can be useful indicators of people's concerns about animal welfare issues and their preferences for public policies on animal welfare.
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