Well-being for Animals

Animal well-being: animal-eco-costs

The unacceptable living conditions for animals in the modern bio-industry is an important aspect in TCA. In the eco-costs system it is dealt with under the category of animal-eco-costs. Four categories are of food distinguished:

  • milk of cows (animal-eco-costs of milk)
  • bovine: calves and cows (animal-eco-costs of beef)
  • porcine: pigs (animal-eco-costs of pork)
  • poultry: chicken (animal eco-costs of chicken)

The way that the animal-eco-costs of these four categories are determined is similar to the prevention based approach of s-eco-costs: it are the (marginal) costs that are required to fulfill the requirements of the Performance Reference Point, PRP (= the norm for the living conditions that ensure animal well-being).

Note that other ways to quantify the damage of maltreatment of animals hardly exist: neither Willingness to Pay (‘stated preference’, or ‘revealed preference’), nor the ‘budgetary approach’ is  a solution, since “we cannot ask animals what they think”. The PRP, however, is easy to establish: animals show when they are happy. These PRPs are determined by EU regulation on animal well-being (EU 2018/848), plus the basis of regional certification schemes of ‘best practice farms’.
The animal-eco-costs, therefore, can be regarded as a moral obligation of the conventional farmers.