New research from the Center for Food Integrity shows most consumers are twice as likely to believe the Humane Society of the United States and People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals over farm organizations when it comes to humane treatment of farm animals.
The research was released Wednesday at the CFI’s Food Summit, held in Chicago. The Web-based survey was completed by 2,002 respondents selected to reflect the overall composition of the population.
After HSUS and PETA, farm animal veterinarians, the Agriculture Department and university experts ranked next, followed by state and national farm organizations and small livestock farmers. Large-scale livestock farmers ranked last in animal welfare credibility.
“The research indicates consumers feel information from a non-governmental organization is significantly more credible than a group that profits from the meat industry,” said Charlie Arnot, CFI’s CEO. “The closer you are to the money, the less credible your information.”
Arnot said the results make it increasingly important for food system organizations to partner with credible groups and connect with consumers using shared values. “Demonstrating we share an ethical obligation to ensure animals are well cared for is more important than ever before,” he said.
The research also reveals that consumers favor more laws to ensure the humane treatment of farm animals in their states, which explains why voters have looked favorably on HSUS-driven ballot drives in California, Michigan and Ohio to reform livestock housing rules.