Qualitative Stakeholder Analysis for the Development of Sustainable Monitoring Systems for Farm Animal Welfare



Continued concern for animal welfare may be alleviated when welfare would be monitored on farms. Monitoring can be characterized as an information system where various stakeholders periodically exchange relevant information. Stakeholders include producers, consumers, retailers, the government, scientists, and others. Valuating animal welfare in the animal-product market chain is regarded as a key challenge to further improve the welfare of farm animals and information on the welfare of animals must, therefore, be assessed objectively, for instance, through monitoring. Interviews with Dutch stakeholder representatives were conducted to identify their perceptions about the monitoring of animal welfare. Stakeholder perceptions were characterized in relation to the specific perspectives of each stakeholder. While producers tend to perceive welfare from a production point of view, consumers will use visual images derived from traditional farming and from the animals’ natural environments. Scientists’ perceptions of animal welfare are affected by the need to measure welfare with quantifiable parameters. Retailers and governments (policy makers) have views of welfare that are derived from their relationships with producers, consumers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and scientists. All interviewed stakeholder representatives stated that animal welfare is important. They varied in the extent to which they weighted economic considerations relative to concern for the animals’ welfare. Many stakeholders emphasized the importance of communication in making a monitoring system work. Overall, the perspectives for the development of a sustainable monitoring system that substantially improves farm animal welfare were assessed as being poor in the short term. However, a reliable system could be initiated under certain conditions, such as integrated chains and with influential and motivated stakeholders. A scheme is described with attention points for the development of sustainable monitoring systems for farm animal welfare in the long term.


animal welfare assessment housing and management systems monitoring on-farm stakeholder analysis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anonymous, “Scientists’ assessment of the impact of housing and management on animal welfare,” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 4 (2001), 1–52Google Scholar
  2. Bartussek, H. 1986Ergänzung zum Artikel ‘Vorschlag für eine Steiermärkische Intensivtierhaltungsverordnung Irdning (1985)Der Österreichische Freiberufstierartzt97415Google Scholar
  3. Bartussek, H. 1999A review of the animal needs index (ANI) for the assessment of animals’ well-being in the housing systems for Austrian proprietary products and legislationLivestock Production Science61179192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bell, D. D. 2002

    Introduction to the table-egg industry

    Bell, D.Weaver, W. D. eds. Commercial Chicken Meat and Egg Production Edn 5KluwerDordrecht945963
    Google Scholar
  5. Blokhuis, H. J., Jones, R. B., Geers, R., Miele, M., Veissier, I. 2003Measuring and monitoring animal welfare: transparency in the food product quality chainAnimal Welfare12445455Google Scholar
  6. Von Borell, E., Bockisch, F. J., Buscher, W., Hoy, S., Krieter, J., Muller, C., Parvizi, N., Richter, T., Rudovsky, A., Sundrum, A., Weghe, H. 2001Critical control points for on-farm assessment of pig housingLivestock Production Science72177184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bracke, M. B. M., Modelling of Animal Welfare: The Development of a Decision Support System to Assess the welfare Status of Pregnant Sows. PhD Thesis (Wageningen University, Wageningen, 2001)Google Scholar
  8. Bracke, M. B. M., Spruijt, B. M., Metz, J. H. M., Schouten, W. G. P. 2002aDecision support system for overall welfare assessment in pregnant sows A: Model structure and weighting procedureJournal of Animal Science818191834Google Scholar
  9. Bracke, M. B. M., Metz, J. H. M., Spruijt, B. M., Schouten, W. G. P. 2002bDecision support system for overall welfare assessment in pregnant sows B: Validation by expert opinionJournal Animal Science818351845Google Scholar
  10. Cornelissen, T., The Two Faces of Sustainability – Fuzzy Evaluation of Sustainable Development, PhD Thesis (Wageningen University, Wageningen, 2003)Google Scholar
  11. Dagevos, J. C., Panorama Voedingsland. Traditie en transitie in discussies over voedsel {Panarama Foodcountry. Tradition and transition in discussions about food} (Rathenau Instituut, The Hague, 2002)Google Scholar
  12. De Jonge, F. H. and G. A. Goewie, In het Belang van het Dier: Over het Welzijn van Dieren in de Veehouderij {In the interest of the animal: about animal welfare in livestock production} (Rathenau Instituut, The Hague, 2000)Google Scholar
  13. Greenwood, M. R. 2001Community as a stakeholder. Focussing on corporate social and environmental reportingJournal of Corporate Citizenship43145Google Scholar
  14. LNV, Houden van dieren – Beleidsvoornemen dierenwelzijn. {Keeping animals – Policyintention animal welfare} (LNV, The Hague, 2001)Google Scholar
  15. LNV, Beleidsnota Dierenwelzijn {Animal Welfare Policy Memorandum, March 2002). (LNV, The Hague, 2002)Google Scholar
  16. Mench, J. A. 2003Assessing animal welfare at the farm and group level: A United States perspectiveAnimal Welfare12493503Google Scholar
  17. Mendl, M. 1991Some problems with the concept of a cut-off point for determining when an animal’s welfare is at riskApplied Animal Behaviour Science31139146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B. R., Wood, D. J. 1997Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really countsAcademy of Management Review22853886Google Scholar
  19. National Pork Board, Pork checkoff Swine Welfare Assurance Programmesm. A Program of Amerika’s Pork Producers. Communications packet (2003).Google Scholar
  20. Report Wijffels, Toekomst voor de veehouderij. Agenda voor een herontwerp van de sector {Future for livestock production. Agenda for a redesign of the sector} Report of the Comission (Wijffels, The Hague, 2001)Google Scholar
  21. Rossi, P. H., Freeman, H. E. 1989Evaluation. A Systematic Approach(Sage Publications Inc.Newbury Park, CAGoogle Scholar
  22. Sundrum, A., R. Andersson, G. Postler, H. Schneider, A. Striezel, J. Walter, and C. Winckler, Tiergerechtheitsindex – 200. Ein Leitfaden zur Beurteilung von Haltungssystemen {Animal Needs Index – 2. A guide to assess housing systems} (Bonn, Kollen Druck, 1994)Google Scholar
  23. Ter Berg, J., J. Fransen, and D. Verhue, Burgeroordelen over de veehouderij: Uitkomsten burgerpanels. Belangrijkste uitkomsten van groepsdiscussies en werkbezoeken aan viskwekerijen, melkveehouderijen en konijnenhouderijen (Citizen judgements about livestock production: results from citizen panels. Main results from group discussions and visits to fish farms, dairy farms and rabbit farms) Conducted by Veldkamp (Rathenau, The Hague, 2003)Google Scholar
  24. Te Velde, H. M., Aarts, M. N. C., Woerkum, C. M. J. 2001Eten, maar niet willen weten. Veehouders en consumenten over de omgang met dieren in de veehouderij Eating, but not wanting to know. Farmers and consumers about the treatment of animals in livestock productionRathenau InstituutThe HagueGoogle Scholar
  25. Verhue, D. and D. Verzijden Burgeroordelen over de veehouderij: Uitkomsten publieksonderzoek. Een onderzoek naar het oordeel van de burger over de melkveehouderij, viskwekerij en konijnenhouderij (Citizen judgements about livestock production: Results from an opinion poll. Research about the judgement of the citizen about dairy farming, fish farming and rabbit farming) Conducted by Veldkamp (The Hague, Rathenau, 2003)Google Scholar
  26. Whay, H. R., Main, D. C. J., Green, L. E., Webster, A. J. F. 2003Assessment of the welfare of dairy cattle using animal-based measurements: direct observations and investigation of farm recordsVeterinary Record153197202Google Scholar
  27. Wiepkema, P. R. 1987

    Behavioural aspects of stress

    Wiepkema, P. R.Adrichem, P. W. M. eds. Biology of Stress in Farm Animals: An Integrative ApproachMartinus NijhoffDordrecht113133
    Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. B. M. Bracke
    • 1
  • K. H. De Greef
    • 1
  • H. Hopster
    • 1
  1. 1.Animal Sciences Group, Division Animal Resources DevelopmentWageningen University and Research CentreLelystadThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations