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Identifying critical factors influencing the disposal of dead pigs by farmers in China

Abstract

Disposal of dead pigs by pig farmers may have a direct impact on pork safety, public health, and the ecological environment in China. Drawing on the existing literature, this study analyzed and summarized the main factors that could affect the disposal of dead pigs by pig farmers by conducting a survey of 654 pig farmers in Funing County, Jiangsu Province, China. The purpose of this analysis was to investigate the disposal of dead pigs in China and provide useful regulatory strategies for the government. The interrelationships among dimensions and factors that affect the disposal of dead pigs by farmers were analyzed, and critical factors were identified by a hybrid multi-criteria decision-making method, which is a combination of decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and analytic network process (ANP). Our results demonstrated that production characteristics were the most important dimensions and that costs and profits, scale of farming, pattern of farming, knowledge of relevant laws and regulations, and knowledge of pig disease and prevention were the five most critical factors affecting the disposal of dead pigs by farmers in China at this stage. The significance of this study lies in further discussing some management policies for the Chinese government regarding strengthen regulation of disposing dead pigs.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    In China, dead pigs must be harmlessly disposed according to governmental regulations. Therefore, harmless disposal of dead pigs by farmers is referred to as a positive behavior in this report. On the other hand, dumping of dead pigs into rivers and lakes and illegal selling of dead pigs to middlemen or direct processing and marketing of dead pigs are referred to as negative behaviors.

  2. 2.

    Source: Statistical Bureau of People’s Republic of China, http://219.235.129.58/reportYearQuery.do?id=1400&r=0.43901071841247474. The number and growth rate of pig deaths were calculated based on the lowest normal death rate of 3 % in adult pigs.

  3. 3.

    According to the Chinese statistical standard, the scale of farming refers to the annual production of pigs ready to be slaughtered in this report.

  4. 4.

    China has enacted a series of policies, laws, and regulations for the scientific disposal of dead pigs. Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations mainly refers to knowledge of such policies, laws, and regulations in this study.

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Acknowledgments

This research work was financially supported by Study of Co-governance for Food Safety Risk in China, one of the Key Projects of National Social Science Foundation of China in 2014 (Project Approval No. 14ZDA069), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project Approval No. 71273117), and Central University Basic Research Funds (Project Approval Nos. JUSRP51325A and JUSRP51416B), and Study of Food Safety Consumption Policy: the Case of Traceable Pork, a project of the Six Top Talents in Jiangsu Province (Project Approval No. 2012-JY-002), and Research on Chinese Food Safety Risk Control, a project of college Innovation Team of Jiangsu Province social science (Project Approval No. 2013-011).

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Correspondence to Linhai Wu.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Wu, L., Xu, G. & Wang, X. Identifying critical factors influencing the disposal of dead pigs by farmers in China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 661–672 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5284-y

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Keywords

  • Disposal of dead pigs
  • Critical factors
  • Decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL)
  • Analytic network process (ANP)
  • DEMATEL-based ANP (DANP)