Vecchio, Yari, Gregorio Pauselli, & Felice Adinolfi (2020, August). Exploring attitudes toward animal welfare through the lens of subjectivity—An application of Q-methodology. Animals, 10(8), art. 1364. 14 pp. (Open Access) (doi: 10.3390/ani10081364) (Link:

Abstract: Opinions increasingly influence legislative processes. The case of animal welfare (AW) standards is a clear example of the role played by opinions in political decisions. The issue, to which European citizens have historically been sensitive, has been the subject of numerous consultations and investigations, aimed at considering citizens’ opinions regarding breeding conditions. However, these tools and in particular standard surveys, suffer from response biases such as the prejudices involved in the design of questions and the interpretation of the results. To mitigate these problems, we used the Q-methodology, which is an inductive but systematic methodology focused on patterns that explain the ideas of individuals. The purposive sample consisted of 36 veterinary students who were acquiring scientific knowledge about AW. The results, in addition to providing policymakers with food for thought for the further development of AW standards, contribute to testing the use of alternative methodologies to collect citizens’ views. This mapping of viewpoints helps to build a more effective form of AW policy making.

Gregorio Pauselli <> is in the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.