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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Rationalities for working with animals: producing, living together and self-fulfilling

INRA Prod Anim 25(2) 181-192


1 INRA, UMR1273 Métafort, F-63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France

2 AgroParisTech, UMR Métafort, BP 90054, F-63172 Aubière, France

3 Irstea, UMR Métafort, BP 50085, F-63172 Aubière, France

4 Clermont Université, VetAgro Sup, UMR Métafort, BP 35, F-63370 Lempdes, France

5 CNRS, Université Paris V René Descartes, CERSES, F-75005 Paris, France

6 INRA, UMR1048 SADAPT, 16 rue Claude Bernard, F-75005 Paris, France


For animal scientists, understanding the diversity of individual relationships of livestock farmers for their work is required in order to design more sustainable livestock farming systems, especially from an ethical point of view. Three studies based on farmer's interviews were used to characterize the diversity of the farmers' relationships with work . They showed that, from the farmer's point of view, livestock farming does not just serve the purpose of producing. It also helps to build their identity and to live together with humans and animals. They made it clear that friendship, power, moral, self-fulfilment, the possibility to work with a spouse or family, outside, in contact with nature, at one's own pace, with self-decision and organisation making, are essential dimensions of working with livestock animals besides the economic and technical dimensions. The possibility for the farmers to feel pleasure or to suffer at work is conditioned by the work organisation. Based on these results, we propose two innovations to improve working conditions on the farm: the concept of a slaughter house on a truck as an alternative to industrialized slaughtering and an analysis framework to renew the farm advisory system dealing with work condition improvement.