Impacts of animal welfare legislation on the farm economy across EU countries

Last changed: 11 February 2021

Swedish farm animal welfare (AW) legislation has long been considered strict compared to other EU countries. It is often argued that the stricter Swedish AW rules reduces the competitiveness of the Swedish agricultural sector. However, there is no scientific evidence for this claim. Knowing the economic impact (in both positive and negative terms) of the Swedish AW legislation is vital for sound policy decision-making.

The overall aim of this project is to assess how AW legislation is related to the economic performance and international competitiveness of the agricultural sector in Sweden and other EU countries. The projects will study farm size and structure, productivity, import and export of animal-derived food products. Furthermore, associations between AW legislation and citizen and consumer perceptions of AW will be investigated in order to explain how demand may be affected by changes in AW legislation.


Project leader: Shon Ferguson

Project period: Jan 2020 - Dec 2022


Project co-workers

Helena Hansson, Lisa Höglind, Anna Wallenbeck, Sigrid Agenäs

Project funder: Formas

Total funds: 6 million SEK

Related pages:


Shon Ferguson

Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor

Dept. of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 
Uppsala, Sweden

Affiliated researcher, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Stockholm, Sweden