Dairy Farmer Empathy Association On Animal Welfare
Survey results indicate that attitudes and level empathy among Norwegian dairy farmers have a significant influence on human-animal interactions that ultimately affects their behavior toward animals.
Researchers sampled a total of 153 Norwegian dairy farmers to assess their agreement with various attitudinal statements regarding animal welfare and the degree to which dairy cows experience pain. Specific conditions mentioned included those involving milk yield, mastitis incidence, fertility index, and skin lesions on cows.
According to farmer’s opinions, the most painful conditions for cows include fracture of tuber coxae, dystocia, and serious mastitis. The farmers with positive attitudes toward animals scored higher on empathy scores than those with negative attitudes. Farmers also gave higher empathy scores where they had personal experience with each condition. The associations between empathy and attitudes suggest that animal welfare standards could benefit by including attitudes and empathy in additional human-animal interaction studies.