Immunocastration of pigs represents an alternative method to surgical castration, being more respectful of animal welfare. However, this new technology may not be accepted by consumers due to their perception of possible risks tied to the use of the product, thus representing a concern for the production sector. The study aimed at verifying the attitude of Italian consumers towards immunocastration and to assess whether their perception can be affected by science-based information on advantages and disadvantages of immunocastration. A total of 969 consumers (divided in three groups representative of the Italian population) were contacted and asked to complete an online questionnaire. Only technical (neutral) information on immunocastration was provided to the first group; the second and the third group received information on the advantages (+) and disadvantages (-) of the technique, shown in reverse order (+/- and -/+, respectively). The level of information did not affect consumers’ perception of immunocastration. Overall, immunocastration is perceived in a predominantly positive manner (54.5%), with a relatively low level of risk perception (34.2%), and a good willingness to pay more for meat deriving from immunocastrated pigs (+18.7%).

Towards the abandonment of surgical castration in pigs: How is immunocastration perceived by Italian consumers?

Eleonora Nannoni;Luca Sardi
;
Giulia Rubini;Felice Adinolfi;Giovanna Martelli
2019

Abstract

Immunocastration of pigs represents an alternative method to surgical castration, being more respectful of animal welfare. However, this new technology may not be accepted by consumers due to their perception of possible risks tied to the use of the product, thus representing a concern for the production sector. The study aimed at verifying the attitude of Italian consumers towards immunocastration and to assess whether their perception can be affected by science-based information on advantages and disadvantages of immunocastration. A total of 969 consumers (divided in three groups representative of the Italian population) were contacted and asked to complete an online questionnaire. Only technical (neutral) information on immunocastration was provided to the first group; the second and the third group received information on the advantages (+) and disadvantages (-) of the technique, shown in reverse order (+/- and -/+, respectively). The level of information did not affect consumers’ perception of immunocastration. Overall, immunocastration is perceived in a predominantly positive manner (54.5%), with a relatively low level of risk perception (34.2%), and a good willingness to pay more for meat deriving from immunocastrated pigs (+18.7%).
Jorgelina Di Pasquale, Eleonora Nannoni, Luca Sardi, Giulia Rubini, Renato Salvatore, Luca Bartoli, Felice Adinolfi, Giovanna Martelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/685587
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