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People’s willingness to eat meat from animals vaccinated against epidemics


  • Zingg, Alexandra
  • Siegrist, Michael


Animal epidemics are associated with significant economic damage and they negatively influence consumers’ meat consumption. Vaccination can be used as a strategy to prevent the outbreak of animal epidemics. The current study examines people’s willingness to eat meat from animals vaccinated against an animal epidemic. We asked people separately about their willingness to eat meat from animals vaccinated against both animal epidemics and against zoonoses. Zoonoses are also animal epidemics, but they might affect human health. A questionnaire was sent out to a representative sample of Swiss people and yielded N=1033 completed datasets. Although animal vaccinations were highly accepted among those surveyed, compared to a wide range of other animal applications such as antibiotics, only about a quarter of those surveyed indicated that they would eat meat from animals vaccinated against a zoonosis. Some 60% indicated they would eat meat from animals vaccinated against an animal epidemic. We found attitudes about animal vaccination, knowledge about human vaccination, misunderstanding of animal treatments, and average meat consumption to significantly influence people’s willingness to eat meat from animals vaccinated against a zoonosis. Therefore, it is necessary that regulatory bodies provide information on both the safety of meat for human consumption and ways to minimize any potential health risks from the handling or consumption of meat products that might be infected in cases of zoonotic outbreaks.

Suggested Citation

  • Zingg, Alexandra & Siegrist, Michael, 2012. "People’s willingness to eat meat from animals vaccinated against epidemics," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 226-231.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:3:p:226-231
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.02.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Macfarlane, Ronald, 2002. "Integrating the consumer interest in food safety: the role of science and other factors+," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 65-80, February.
    2. Veeman, Michele M. & Li, Yu, 2006. "Canadian Consumers' Preferences for Food Safety and Agricultural Environment Safety," Consumer and Market Demand Network Papers 91557, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    3. Nathalie Stampfli & Michael Siegrist & Hans Kastenholz, 2010. "Acceptance of nanotechnology in food and food packaging: a path model analysis," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 353-365, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Glynn Tonsor & Ted Schroeder, 2015. "Market impacts of E. Coli vaccination in U.S. Feedlot cattle," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-15, December.
    2. Clark, Beth & Stewart, Gavin B. & Panzone, Luca A. & Kyriazakis, Ilias & Frewer, Lynn J., 2017. "Citizens, consumers and farm animal welfare: A meta-analysis of willingness-to-pay studies," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 112-127.


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