Trade-offs between conflicting animal welfare concerns and cow replacement strategy in out-wintering Scottish suckler herds
AbstractSince decoupling of the CAP, many Scottish suckler cow farms are facing financial difficulties. In response, many farmers are out-wintering extensively managed suckler cows to minimise production costs. These systems are of animal welfare concern. A range of trade-offs between animal welfare indicators and between animal welfare and farm profitability can be identified. A Dynamic Programming (DP) model was developed to study these trade-offs. Two herds were modelled assuming their feeding regimes were either low (LHERD) or high (HHERD). The objective of the DP was to maximise the expected net margin from a current cow and its successors over an infinite time horizon. Preliminary results showed that the rate of voluntary culling was higher in HHERD than in LHERD. Animals in HHERD had shorter life expectancy. The expected net present value was 58% lower in LHERD than HHERD (-£41.5 and - £24.3 respectively). These results suggest a heavier culling rate and shorter longevity for animals in HHERD that compromises animal welfare. Also HHERD had a greater implied stocking density than LHERD. This increase of the cows’ population may adversely affect the environment. The presented model provides some of the basic information required to explore some of the trade-offs between farm profit, animal welfare and the environment.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Agricultural Economics Society in its series 83rd Annual Conference, March 30-April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland with number 51078.
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Beef cow; economics; dynamic programming; animal welfare; Livestock Production/Industries;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-08-16 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stott, Alistair W. & Gunn, George J. & Varo Barbudo, Antonio, 2008. "Management of reproduction in Scottish suckler herds," 82nd Annual Conference, March 31 - April 2, 2008, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, UK 36871, Agricultural Economics Society.
- Vosough Ahmadi, Bouda & Baxter, Emma & Stott, Alistair W. & Lawrence, Alistair & Edwards, Sandra, 2009. "Animal Welfare And Economic Optimisation Of Farrowing Systems," Working Papers 61124, Scottish Agricultural College, Land Economy Research Group.
- Azzam, Sara Melin & Kinder, J. E. & Nielsen, M. K., 1990. "Modelling reproductive management systems for beef cattle," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 103-122.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.