IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Benefits of Farm Animal Welfare Legislation: The Case of the EU Broiler Directive and Truthful Reporting


  • Richard Bennett
  • Kelvin Balcombe
  • Philip Jones
  • Andrew Butterworth


The EU Broiler Directive came into force in the UK in June 2010 with the aim of setting new minimum standards, monitoring broiler welfare and addressing any welfare problems. A survey questionnaire was used to elicit information from a stratified sample of citizens in England and Wales regarding their willingness to pay for the provisions of the Directive, as an estimate of the consumer surplus associated with the legislation. We also explore the usefulness of Prelec's () Bayesian Truth Serum (BTS) in promoting respondents’ truthful reporting. A median willingness to pay of £21.50 per household per year (corrected for sample bias and possible ‘yea saying’) was estimated from 665 responses. This provides an estimated benefit of the legislation to citizens of over £503 million per year, equivalent to 5.3% of current consumer expenditure on chicken. This compares to an estimated £22 million per year cost of producers’ compliance and government enforcement associated with the legislation. No statistically significant differences in responses between respondents that did and did not have a BTS incentive to answer questions truthfully were found, which might reflect apparently truthful answers in this case, an insufficiently strong financial incentive or a weakened effect due to an element of disbelief in the BTS amongst the sample. The analysis suggests that the benefits of the Broiler Directive to citizens greatly outweigh the additional costs to producers, making a case for the legislation to be retained.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Bennett & Kelvin Balcombe & Philip Jones & Andrew Butterworth, 2019. "The Benefits of Farm Animal Welfare Legislation: The Case of the EU Broiler Directive and Truthful Reporting," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 135-152, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:70:y:2019:i:1:p:135-152

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:70:y:2019:i:1:p:135-152. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.