Burning Questions
Fellowship Award Winners

Jesse Robbins

Location: U.S.
Academic field: Sociology
Award category: PhD Holder

Topics to be Addressed during the Award Period:

Industrial dairy production in India: Animal welfare implications and public perceptions.

  • Current status of dairy production in India and factors shaping the process of dairy industrialization.
  • India’s unique socio-cultural context and how this will likely shape the public debate about animal welfare in an increasingly industrialized dairy sector (e.g. the impact of widely held religious beliefs regarding the moral status of cattle).
  • The science behind specific dairy animal welfare issues that front-line persons can expect to encounter as industrial production methods become more prevalent (e.g. cow-calf separation, lack of pain mitigation, individual vs group housing).
  • Insights from a survey of approximately 500 Indian citizens on their perceptions (i.e., knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors) of animal welfare issues in dairy products and dairy production practices.

Some of the Things We Really Liked when We Read the Application:

  • Dairy production in India is an increasingly important issue  India is the world’s largest dairy producer and consumer, and although most dairy production in India consists of small subsistence farms, industrial operations are becoming much more common. 
  • The topics covered include two key aspects of animal welfare: 1) Veterinary and scientific issues. 2) Public perception of treatment and welfare of dairy cows. The Indian context will also be explained.
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