Dr. Mariann Sz. Molnár, PhD alumna '18 published chapter of her thesis in Animal Welfare with Prof. David Fraser

June 5, 2020

Dr. Mariann Sz. Molnár defended her dissertation titled "What is the right thing to do? Perspectives on the 'moral imperative' and the 'ultimate goal' of farm animal welfare in Hungary" at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy in 2018 under the supervision of Dr. Alexios Antypas.

In May 2020 Dr. Mariann Sz. Molnár published the first analytical chapter of her PhD dissertation in the peer-reviewed journal Animal Welfare (Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, UFAW) entitled "Protecting farm animal welfare during intensification: Farmer perceptions of economic and regulatory pressures". The paper is co-authored by leading animal welfare expert Professor David Fraser (the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Land and Food Systems) and provides a nuanced insight into the most significant challenges farmers face, their impact on production methods and farm animal welfare conditions. 

Using a Grounded Theory approach, the article studies the perspectives of farmers operating confinement and alternative pig farms in Hungary. Results illustrate that animal farmers are highly constrained by external factors, such as the effects of legislation, power imbalances induced by the marketplace and subsidy programs that may not fulfil their goal of compensating farmers for higher costs of good welfare practices. The article concludes that external pressures make it very difficult for producers to put positive animal-care values into practice.

Dr. Mariann Sz. Molnár is currently working at the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) as a senior researcher in farm animal health and welfare, and will present her research on the 30th of June 2020 at the virtual UFAW Animal Welfare Conference "Recent Advances in Animal Welfare Science VII".