Surgical castration without the use of anaesthesia and/or analgesia is considered to be detrimental for the welfare of pigs and for this reason its abandonment is advocated. Immunocastration is a more welfare-friendly alternative method; however, stakeholders in the pork sector fear consumer rejection due to perceived safety issues of immunocastrated meat. This work aimed to analyse whether Italian consumers perceive a health risk arising from the use of this technique and, if so, how the perceived risk may influence the purchase choices and the willingness to pay for products derived from immunocastrated animals. To achieve this objective, a survey was carried out on a representative sample of the Italian population. The results highlight that consumers perceive different levels of risk related to the use of immunocastration and that this influences purchasing behaviour and willingness to pay. Moreover, it should be noted that the willingness to pay is also influenced by certain demographic factors, since this is positively associated with younger respondents with lower incomes and less knowledge of farming systems, who live in rural areas and have a greater sensitivity to animal welfare. Given the concerns expressed by consumers, particular attention must be paid to the information transmitted if this technology will be widely implemented in pig husbandry.

Health Risk Perception, Consumption Intention, and Willingness to Pay for Pig Products Obtained by Immunocastration

Yari Vecchio
;
Giovanna Martelli;Luca Sardi;Felice Adinolfi;Eleonora Nannoni
2020

Abstract

Surgical castration without the use of anaesthesia and/or analgesia is considered to be detrimental for the welfare of pigs and for this reason its abandonment is advocated. Immunocastration is a more welfare-friendly alternative method; however, stakeholders in the pork sector fear consumer rejection due to perceived safety issues of immunocastrated meat. This work aimed to analyse whether Italian consumers perceive a health risk arising from the use of this technique and, if so, how the perceived risk may influence the purchase choices and the willingness to pay for products derived from immunocastrated animals. To achieve this objective, a survey was carried out on a representative sample of the Italian population. The results highlight that consumers perceive different levels of risk related to the use of immunocastration and that this influences purchasing behaviour and willingness to pay. Moreover, it should be noted that the willingness to pay is also influenced by certain demographic factors, since this is positively associated with younger respondents with lower incomes and less knowledge of farming systems, who live in rural areas and have a greater sensitivity to animal welfare. Given the concerns expressed by consumers, particular attention must be paid to the information transmitted if this technology will be widely implemented in pig husbandry.
Jorgelina Di Pasquale,Yari Vecchio, Giovanna Martelli, Luca Sardi, Felice Adinolfi, Eleonora Nannoni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/769933
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