Meat consumers in Kenya are increasingly concerned about animal welfare when buying and consuming meat products.
According to a report launched today by World Animal Protection, meat consumers place a high premium on meat that is produced without antibiotics and is safely transported to the market for slaughter.
76.4% of the people interviewed, link use of antibiotics in animals to poor human health and diseases. Over 80 percent of the people interviewed are keen on food safety and this had a huge influence on their purchasing decisions – including willing to pay more for humanely produced meat. In addition, 75 percent of people interviewed would stop sourcing as well as tell family and friends to stop if they knew supermarkets sourced meat products from poor animal welfare producers.
Of significant importance is that consumers are willing to pay more if they are assured that the meat products are free of antibiotics and chemicals, the animals were raised and transported in high welfare conditions before being slaughtered humanely.
82.7 percent of the respondents would purchase more meat and meat products with a food safety assurance marker from supermarkets and fast food restaurants while 52.9% of the respondents will purchase more if the production was environmentally friendly and 68.8 percent of the people interviewed will purchase more if assured the meat is free of chemicals.
“This survey points to a significant need for meat retailers and producers to start thinking seriously about animal welfare. There is a strong correlation between how animals are raised and the quality of the end product – the meat that ends up on our table. It is therefore important that farmers ensure that the animals they produce enjoy their five animal freedoms. says Dr. Victor Yamo, Farming Campaigns Manager, Animals in Farming.
“Supermarkets, fast food restaurants and large producers have incredible market power and should use their leverage to help address this public health crisis by ending the misuse of antibiotics as well as animal suffering. To keep our life-saving antibiotics working when people need them and ensuring welfare of animals and humans, the entire meat value chain – poultry, pork and beef – must start using antimicrobials responsibly.” He says.
“Consumers should demand evidence of quality assurance such as antibiotic-free, higher welfare produced meat and meat products from the outlets where they obtain their meat and meat products.” He continued.