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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Farmers, Victimization, and Animal Rights Activism in Sweden

Ceccato, Vania; Lundqvist, Peter; Abraham, Jonatan; Goransson, Eva; Svennefelt, Catharina Alwall


Conflicts between animal production and animal rights activism are becoming more common in a number of countries, including Sweden. Although most animal rights advocates would not consider committing a crime, there have been numerous accounts in which farmers have been victimized because they are animal producers. This study investigates the extent and characteristics of crimes committed against animal farmers and their families. The analysis is based on answers from a survey of 3,815 animal farmers in Sweden in 2020. Cross-table analysis, logistic regression models, and geographical information systems (GIS) underlie the methodology of the study. One in eight respondents declared being exposed to crimes because they are animal producers (from thefts, trespassing, sabotage, and threats to physical violence, most face-to-face but also online), but 60 percent of the victims never report to the police. Among nonvictims, half of the respondents knew someone who had been a victim of crime. Findings indicate that farmers' victimization for theft or robbery show different motivations than those that are directed at them because they work with animal production. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating farmers' safety needs into sustainable rural development policies.


animal production; crime; crime reporting; ecoterrorism; policing; threats; trespassing

Published in

The Professional Geographer
2022, Volume: 74, number: 2, pages: 350-363