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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Economic impact of investment in animal welfare-enhancing flooring solutions - Implications for promoting sustainable dairy production in Sweden

Owusu-Sekyere, Enoch; Hansson, Helena; Telezhenko, Evgenij; Nyman, Ann-Kristin; Ahmed, Haseeb

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper was to assess the economic impact of investment in different animal welfare-enhancing flooring solutions in Swedish dairy farming.Design/methodology/approachThe authors developed a bio-economic model and used stochastic partial budgeting approach to simulate the economic consequences of enhancing solid and slatted concrete floors with soft rubber covering.FindingsThe findings highlight that keeping herds on solid and slatted concrete floor surfaces with soft rubber coverings is a profitable solution, compared with keeping herds on solid and slatted concrete floors without a soft covering. The profit per cow when kept on a solid concrete floor with soft rubber covering increased by 13%-16% depending on the breed. Practical implicationsPromoting farm investments such as improvement in flooring solution, which have both economic and animal welfare incentives, is a potential way of promoting sustainable dairy production. Farmers may make investments in improved floors, resulting in enhanced animal welfare and economic outcomes necessary for sustaining dairy production.Originality/valueThis literature review indicated that the economic impact of investment in specific types of floor improvement solutions, investment costs and financial outcomes have received little attention. This study provides insights needed for a more informed decision-making process when selecting optimal flooring solutions for new and renovated barns that improve both animal welfare and ease the burden on farmers and public financial support.

Keywords

Animal welfare; Flooring solution; Partial budgeting; Sustainable dairy production

Published in

British Food Journal
2023,
Publisher: EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD