Public Acceptance of Antibiotic Use in Livestock Production Canada and Germany

Ellen Goddard, Monika Hartmann, Jeanette Klink-Lehmann


The use of antibiotics in livestock production has repeatedly been in the dock over the last few years. However, reducing antibiotic treatments without increasing the suffering of animals requires changes in animal husbandry practices which will likely come at a cost. The objective of the paper is to investigate the factors influencing consumers’ willingness to consume products of animals that have been treated with antibiotics, their willingness to pay for a considerable reduction in the use of antibiotics and their willingness to consider animal welfare in the context of ‘antibiotic free’ livestock production. The study is based on an online survey of citizens in Germany and Canada, conducted in October 2016. The results reveal differences in the individual’s willingness to consume livestock products from animals treated with antibiotics between Canada and Germany with lower acceptance rates in the latter. Results also show that in both countries individuals with higher concerns about the treatment of animals more strongly reject the use of antibiotics in livestock production. This might indicate that consumers are not aware that banning antibiotics in livestock production might have negative repercussions for animal welfare.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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