Growing interest in ameliorating animal welfare has prompted numerous studies that compare various aspects of manual and mechanical catching. In general, mechanical catching has been adopted as a realistic alternative for manual catching. The success of a catching machine as an alternative for manual catching does not only depend on its practical applicability, but also on its acceptance by "the general public." In the history of technological change, public perception of new technologies has often been ambivalent. Against this background, it is important to know how consumers perceive the production methods. This paper provides an evaluation of the preferences for catching methods by "society" to investigate whether there is a shift in preference due to the confrontation with video segments and the potential effect of awareness and importance attached to animal welfare on preference. Data were gathered through a questionnaire-based survey, including 450 respondents, performed in Belgium. For this study, the data indicated that when subjects were provided information concerning catching methods of broilers, they liked the technology much more. However, for those respondents without prior awareness of both catching methods or with high importance attached to animal welfare, giving information could not convince them of the advantage of using a mechanical catching machine. It is obvious that preference varies with the awareness and experience of the respondents. Future research should move forward from simple assessments of consumer concerns about the technologies and focus more directly on questions and issues related to the consumer's expected bottlenecks of these technologies. In this way, working at a better understanding can directly influence the acceptance of these technologies.
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 2006|