The expectations for and provision of shelter for livestock remains a challenge. To help align expectations and recommendations, research was undertaken to determine the main barriers to the greater adoption of standards. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were undertaken with 24 New Zealand farmers and 22 animal-interest stakeholders. In addition, 700 members of the public were surveyed on-line. Shelter was seen as part of good farming, recognized in productivity and efficiency, and was part of the environmental and market demands. While some farmers considered that their shelter could be better, they had other, more-pressing, priorities. The key barriers included costs, time and resources, impacts on productivity, the provision of information and a lack of enforcement. While the public acknowledged animal welfare as important, including providing livestock with shade, shelter and a comfortable resting place, fewer thought that, in this respect, animals were provided for particularly well. It will be necessary to acknowledge the complexity of the issue borne of different animals, environments and people; and that initiatives may be better managed as part of wider social expectations.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 79, Palmerston North, 37-42, 2019
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