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Acceptability of new pratices by cattle breeders: advantages of a sociological approach

In the PASTO project, experimental agricultural practices with the Herens breed of cattle have been tested. We assessed their acceptability by the cattle breeders to check their chances of being implemented and in what conditions. To do this, we analysed different existing practices in the central Valais, as well as the value system and their representations. Different types of breeders were identified according to the importance given by them to the competition of fighting cows (“combats de Reine”) and to the economic objectives of the farming activity. The participation in the competitions implies specific practices which are not compatible with the practices that were tested in the project. The breeder whose is most likely to adopt these new practices is a professional breeder whose main objectives are economic returns.

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