Legitimacy & Canadian Farm Animal Welfare Standards Development: The Case of the National Farm Animal Care Council [Book Review]

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (1):19-47 (2011)
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Awareness of farm animal welfare issues is growing in Canada, as part of a larger food movement. The baseline Canadian standards for farm animal welfare—the Recommended Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals—are up for revision. The success of these standards will depend in part on perceived legitimacy, which helps determine whether voluntary code systems are adopted, implemented, and accepted by target audiences. In the context of the Codes, legitimacy will also hinge on whether the standards-developers marshal narratives about farm animals that accord with their audiences’ expectations. The aim of this paper is to catalogue factors that influence legitimacy in farm animal welfare standard-setting, including which narratives of animal welfare are emphasized by standard-setters. Drawing upon the example of the baseline Canadian standards, and the National Farm Animal Care Council, the paper will present a theoretical and methodological framework for analyzing legitimacy in the context of animal welfare standards-development and discuss associated policy considerations



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