Pig farmers' and citizens' opinions on outdoor access for livestock - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Poster Year : 2023

Pig farmers' and citizens' opinions on outdoor access for livestock


The proportion of French citizens in favour of outdoor access for farm animals is increasing, but farmers are sometimes hesitant or reluctant to do so. Two surveys based on semi-structured interviews were performed among 32 French citizens and 36 pig farmers (who worked in all types of farming systems, from conventional to free-range) (1) to better understand citizens’ expectations and specify acceptable practices of outdoor access for livestock and (2) to identify the barriers and motivations of farmers to provide outdoor access to pigs. The main theme addressed with the citizens concerned their perceptions of livestock farming and outdoor access. The main theme addressed with farmers concerned perceptions about the impact of outdoor access for pigs on farmers, animals, technico-economic performance and society. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis. Our study reaffirms that citizens interviewed are generally in favour of outdoor access which is synonymous of freedom in vast fields, although they believe that the ability for animals to choose whether to shelter or go outside is important. For farmers, the coherence of the breeding system with their values is crucial. Farmers providing outdoor access have pleasure to work outside and consider the life conditions better for animals. Most indoor farmers do not imagine breeding pigs outdoor mainly due to their job conception and they often mention the disconnection between citizens perception and farming reality. Despite their lack of knowledge on the topic, citizens were aware about main challenges of outdoor access such as the risk of disease transmission by wildlife, land availability and farmers working conditions. In addition, a main limitation for farmers with outdoor access concern the lack of support and technical references to manage the system and face climatic hazards, but experienced farmers mention that knowledge exist and should be shared. Finally, citizens are not able at characterising practical modalities of outdoor access due to a lack of knowledge of livestock but they trust farmers. Communicating about their work and receiving a positive feedback from citizens is a source of pride for farmers and this could be a lever to promote farms with outdoor access acceptable for society.
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Dates and versions

hal-04207141 , version 1 (14-09-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04207141 , version 1


Sophie Brajon, Céline Tallet, Elodie Merlot, Vanessa Lollivier. Pig farmers' and citizens' opinions on outdoor access for livestock. 74. Annual meeting of the european federation of animal science (EAAP), Aug 2023, Lyon, France. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Book of abstracts, 29, pp.560, 2023, Book of abstracts of the 74st annual meeting of the european federation of animal science. ⟨hal-04207141⟩
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