Extensive husbandry and animal welfare are important for acceptance of rabbit meat production among Swedish youth

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2023.19316

Keywords:

Oryctolagus cuniculus, production system, consumer, marketing, Sweden

Abstract

Global meat production and consumption are increasingly unsustainable. One way to counteract this development is to change the type of meat consumed. Rabbit meat has relatively lower climate impact than many other types of meat, but consumer acceptance is crucial for a socially sustainable production. In this study we examine the acceptance of industrial, extensive and urban rabbit production among Swedish senior high school youth, 17 to 19 yr old. An electronic survey was sent to ten randomly selected senior high school classes with 17 to 19 year-old students. The survey included inquiries about background, scaled responses and open-end questions with the opportunity to comment. A total of 111 students completed the survey, of which 62 were women, 74 from rural areas and 91 with previous animal experience. Extensive production was more accepted than industrial and urban production, while no difference was observed between industrial and urban production. Thus, the results advocate a farming system with more animal movement, less productivity and higher space requirements. In general, male respondents were more accepting of all production systems than women, while no difference could be detected between rural and urban citizens. The scaling shows that animal welfare, local production and meat quality was given priority over climate impact, biodiversity and price. Our study suggests useful prerequisites to consider for the meat industry in general, and for the development of Swedish rabbit production.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Saga Gunnarsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry

Carl-Gustaf Thulin, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry

References

Alexandratos N., Bruinsma J. 2012. World agriculture towards 2030/2050: the 2012 revision. ESA Working Paper. No. 12-03. Rome, FAO, pp. 154. https://www.fao.org/3/ap106e/ap106e.pdf. Accessed February 2023.

Blanc S., Massaglia S., Borra D., Mosso A., Merlino V.M. 2020. Animal welfare and gender: a nexus in awareness and preference when choosing fresh beef meat? Italian J. Anim. Sci., 19: 410-420. https://doi.org/10.1080/1828051X.2020.1747952

Blecha J., Davis A. 2014. Distance, proximity, and freedom: Identifying conflicting priorities regarding urban backyard livestock slaughter. Geoforum, 57: 67-77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.08.010

Boogaard B.K., Oosting S.J., Bock B.B. 2006. Elements of societal perception of farm animal welfare: A quantitative study in The Netherlands. Livestock Sci., 104: 13-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2006.02.010

Broderick G.A. 2018. Review: Optimizing ruminant conversion of feed protein to human food protein. Animal, 12: 1722-1734. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731117002592

Carabaño R., Piquer J., Menoyo D., Badiola, I. 2010. The digestive system of the rabbit. In: De Blas J.C. and Wiseman J. (ed). Nutrition of the Rabbit, (2nd ed.). CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789241273.0001

Cesari V., Zucali M., Bava L., Gislon G., Tamburini A., Toschi I. 2018. Environmental impact of rabbit meat: The effect of production efficiency. Meat Sci., 145: 447-454. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2018.07.011

Cullere M., Dalle Zotte A. 2018. Rabbit meat production and consumption: State of knowledge and future perspectives. Meat Sci., 143: 137-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2018.04.029

Dalle Zotte A. 2014. Rabbit farming for meat purposes. Anim. Front., 4: 62-67. https://doi.org/10.2527/af.2014-0035

Dalle Zotte A., Szendrő Z. 2011. The role of rabbit meat as functional food. Meat Sci., 88: 319-331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2011.02.017

Daszkiewicz T., Gugołek A., Kubiak D., Kerbaum K., Burczyk E. 2021. The fatty acid profile of meat from new zealand white rabbits raised under intensive and extensive production systems. Animals, 11: 3126. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113126

Fiala N. 2008. Meeting the demand: An estimation of potential future greenhouse gas emissions from meat production. Ecol. Econ., 67: 412-419. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.12.021

Fortun-Lamothe L., Litt J., Coutelet G., Gidenne T. 2012. A participatory approach to define objectives, criteria and indicators for evaluating the sustainability of rabbit rearing units. In Proc.: 10th World Rabbit Congress, 3-6 September 2012, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 821- 825. http://worldrabbit-science.com/WRSA-Proceedings/Congress-2012-Egypt/Papers/04-Management/M-Fortun-Lamothe-02.pdf. Accessed February 2023.

Fox N., Ward K. 2008. Health, ethics and environment: A qualitative study of vegetarian motivations. Appetite, 50: 422-429. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2007.09.007

Gerencsér Z., Matics Z., Nagy I., Princz Z., Orova Z., Bíró-Németh E., Radnai I., Szendrő Z. 2008. Effect of light stimulation on the reproductive performance of rabbit does. In Proc.: 9th World Rabbit Congress, 10-13 June 10-13, 2008, Verona, Italy, 371-374. http://world-rabbit-science.com/WRSAProceedings/Congress-2008-Verona/Papers/R-Gerencser2.pdf. Accessed February 2023.

Gidenne T., Lebas F., Fortun-Lamothe L. 2010. Feeding behaviour of rabbits. In: De Blas J.C. and Wiseman J. (ed). Nutrition of the Rabbit, (2nd ed.). CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, 254-274. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789241273.0254

González-Redondo P.A., Contreras-Chacón G.M. 2012. Perceptions among university students in Seville (Spain) of the rabbit as livestock and as a companion animal. World Rabbit Sci. 20: 155-162. https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2012.1147

Hoffman L.C., Vosloo C., Nkhabutlane P., Schutte D.W. 2005. Associations with rabbits and rabbit meat of three different ethnic groups in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Journal of Family Ecology and Consumer Sciences, 33: 63-72. https://doi.org/10.4314/jfecs.v33i1.52866. Accessed February 2023.

Maertens L. 2010. Feeding systems for intensive production. In: De Blas J.C. and Wiseman J. (ed). Nutrition of the Rabbit, (2nd ed.). CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, 275-288. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789241273.0275

Mancebo F. 2018. Urban agriculture for urban regeneration in the sustainable city. In: Grifoni R.C., D’Onofrio R., and Sargolini M. (ed). Quality of Life in Urban Landscapes. The Urban Book Series. Springer, Cham, 311-317. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-65581-9_26

McNitt, J.I., Lukefahr, S.D., Cheeke, P.R., Patton, N.M. 2013. Rabbit Production, (9th ed.). CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 300. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781780640129.0000

Medenou E.H., Koura B.I., Dossa L.H. 2021. Typology and sustainability assessment of rabbit farms in the urban and periurban areas of Southern Benin (West Africa). World Rabbit Sci., 28: 207-219. https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2020.13368

Modlinska K., Adamczyk D., Maison D., Pisula W. 2020. Gender differences in attitudes to vegans/vegetarians and their food preferences, and their implications for promoting sustainable dietary patterns – A systematic review. Sustainability, 12: 6292. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166292

Mondin C., Trestini S., Trocino A., Di Martino G. 2021. The economics of rabbit farming: A pilot study on the impact of different housing systems. Animals, 11: 3040. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113040

Morales R., Aguiar A.P.S., Subiabre I., Realini C.E. 2013. Beef acceptability and consumer expectations associated with production systems and marbling. Food Qual. Prefer., 29: 166-173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2013.02.006

Musto M., Cardinale D., Lucia P., Faraone D. 2015. Influence of different information presentation formats on consumer acceptability: The case of goat milk presented as obtained from different rearing systems. J. Sens. Stud., 30: 85-97. https://doi.org/10.1111/joss.12140

Mutsami C., Karl S. 2020. Commercial rabbit farming and poverty in urban and peri-urban Kenya. Front. Vet. Sci., 7: 353. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00353

Nilsson K. 2017. Livscykelanalys av kaninkött – med fokus på klimatpåverkan. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. 6P05942, pp. 42. [In Swedish] https://kaninproducenterna.se/lca.html. Accessed February 2023.

Notarnicola B., Tassielli G., Renzulli P.A., Castellani V., Sala S. 2017. Environmental impacts of food consumption in Europe. J. Clean. Prod., 140: 753-765. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.080

Petrescu D.C., Petrescu-Mag R.M. 2018. Consumer behaviour related to rabbit meat as functional food. World Rabbit Sci., 26: 321-333. https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2018.10435

Sanah I., Becila S., Djeghim F., Boudjellal A. 2020. Rabbit meat in the east of Algeria: motivation and obstacles to consumption. World Rabbit Sci., 28: 221-237. https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2020.13419

Sanyé-Mengual E., Specht K., Krikser T., Vanni C., Pennisi G., Orsini F., Gianquinto G.P. 2018. Social acceptance and perceived ecosystem services of urban agriculture in Southern Europe: The case of Bologna, Italy. PLoS ONE, 13(9): e0200993. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200993

Saxmose Nielsen S., Alvarez J., Bicout D.J., Calistri P., Depner K., Drewe J.A., Garin-Bastuji B., Gonzales Rojas J.L., Gortázar Schmidt C., Michel V., Miranda Chueca M.Á., Roberts H.C., Sihvonen L.H., Spoolder H., Stahl K., Velarde Calvo A., Viltrop A., Buijs S., Edwards S., Candiani D., Mosbach-Schulz O., Van der Stede Y., Winckler C. 2020. Health and welfare of rabbits farmed in different production systems. EFSA Journal, 18(1): 5944. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2020.5944

SCB. 2021. Statistics Sweden. https://www.scb.se/en

Schröder M.J.A., McEachern M.G. 2004. Consumer value conflicts surrounding ethical food purchase decisions: a focus on animal welfare. Int. J. Consum. Stud., 28: 168-177. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2003.00357.x

Sims V.K., Chin M.G., Yordon R.E. 2007. Don’t be cruel: Assessing beliefs about punishments for crimes against animals. Anthrozoös, 20: 251-259. https://doi.org/10.2752/089279307X224791

Spain C.V., Freund D., Mohan-Gibbons H., Meadow R.G., Beacham L. 2018. Are they buying it? United states consumers’ changing attitudes toward more humanely raised meat, eggs and dairy. Animals, 8, 128. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8080128

Specht K., Weith T., Swoboda K., Siebert R. 2016. Socially acceptable urban agriculture businesses. Agron. Sustain. Dev., 36, 17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-016-0355-0

Szendrő K. 2016. Consumer perceptions, concerns and purchasing practices of rabbit meat in Hungary. J. Food Prod. Mark., 22: 683-693. https://doi.org/10.1080/10454446.2015.1121437

Szendrő K., Szabó-Szentgróti E., Szigeti O. 2020. Consumers’ attitude to consumption of rabbit meat in eight countries depending on the production method and its purchase form. Foods, 9(5): 654. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9050654

Trocino A., Xiccato G. 2006. Animal welfare in reared rabbits: a review with emphasis on housing system. World Rabbit Sci., 14: 77-93. https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2006.553

Tukker A., Jansen B. 2006. Environmental impacts of products: A detailed review of studies. J. Ind. Ecol.,10: 159-182. https://doi.org/10.1162/jiec.2006.10.3.159

Varga M. 2014. Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. New York, Elsevier, pp. 494. https://doi.org/10.1016/C2011-0-05821-0

Downloads

Published

2023-12-26

Issue

Section

Management