Background Farmers with animal production in Sweden can experience different types of criticisms directed against their activities from consumers, the media and inspecting government agencies. On another level, threats, damage, tampering, robbery and other criminal acts are directed against the farm’s activities, but also against the farmer, family members and employees. The farmers organization state the problems as a major health & safety issue. The goal is to investigate the nature of the experiences of threats, crimes and criticism against animal production in Sweden.
Methods The research is achieved by assessing the consequences for individuals and farms, health, social and economic conditions. Interviews with farmers, web-based enquieries, data from official statistics and media coverage will underlie the methodology of this study. We focus on farmers not as ‘victims’ but rather as ‘active agents’, by illustrating ways that farmers handle, cope and respond to the criticisms and threats they are exposed in a daily basis.
Results Preliminary results of our ongoing research show that farmers of all types of animal production feel an increased level of worries and stress due to rural crime and external critizism. They also report that family members and employees are affected. Farmers try to cope with the new stress by investments in increased security measures at the farm, interacting more with other farmers, but also less public contacts.
Learning Outcomes It is obvious that rural crime and external critizism is adding further stress to the daily life of animal farmers and needs to be further investigated
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