Consumers and animal welfare: a comparison between European Union countries
This paper analyses the impact of a priori identified determinants on stated willingness to change usual place of shopping in order to be able to buy more animal welfare friendly food products of consumers in nine European Union countries. We used Eurobarometer data and structural equation models with observed and latent variables. The results show that the ranking of determinants’ impact on the behavioural willingness is similar in the majority of models, with access to information as the strongest determinant, followed by perceived responsibility of consumers and education with strong influence, then by labelling and occupation with lower impact and ending with children, with the lowest influence. This study aims to provide some evidence on the relationship between welfare friendly behavioural willingness and information and labelling issues, amongst other determinants, in the European Union. As both access to information and perception of welfare labelling were found to significantly influence the behavioural willingness, this might suggest the need for the European Union to invest more in improving the welfare labelling system, enhance the welfare information available to the public and improve access to it through measures such as welfare education campaigns.
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