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One of the most contentious and emotional issues in livestock production is that of animal welfare. The welfare of livestock in commercial production systems has been, and continues to be, intensely debated by many groups, including, but not limited to, consumers, animal activists, scientists, legislators, and farmers. Perceptions or misconceptions of welfare issues can have a dramatic effect on livestock production if industries respond by changing certain production practices, if governments react by enacting laws dictating how livestock are produced, or if consumers respond by changing purchasing patterns. A major economic issue in this area spawns from the fact that existing markets may not be well suited for solving the animal welfare debate and imposition of regulatory requirements on production practices could result in significant costs to producers and, ultimately, consumers who pay higher prices for meat.
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Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
Schulz, Lee L. and Tonsor, Glynn, "The U.S. Gestation Stall Debate" (2015). Economics Publications. 56.