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A welfare assessment scoring system for working equids—A method for identifying at risk populations and for monitoring progress of welfare enhancement strategies (trialed in Egypt)

By Ahmed B. A. Ali, Mohammed A. El Sayed, Mohamed Y. Matoock, Manal A. Fouad, Camie R. Heleski

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Abstract

There are an estimated 112 million horses, donkeys and mules (i.e., working equids) in developing regions of the world. Though their roles are often fundamental to the well-being of the families they work for, their welfare is often severely compromised due to the limited resources and/or limited knowledge base of owners. The main objective of this study was to develop a multifactorial welfare assessment score for accurate, comprehensive, quick and reliable assessment of these equids. A total of 5248 working equids (n=2198 horses, 2640 donkeys, 410 mules) were assessed between February 2012–January 2014. Equids were divided into categories based on the three species involved, as well as the four work types involved (transporting goods or people by cart, ridden (e.g., in tourist locations), or working in brick kilns). Analysis of variance “ANOVA” was used to compare differences between groups with α set at 0.05. In terms of behavioral measures, the most at-risk equids appeared to be horses who pulled goods by cart with 20.7% showing a depressed attitude and 22.6% being unresponsive to an observer’s approach (significantly greater than the other species and the other work types, P

Date 2016
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 176
Pages 52-62
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.12.001
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Africa
  2. Analysis
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Assessment
  7. Attitudes
  8. Developing countries
  9. Donkeys
  10. Egypt
  11. Family
  12. Horses
  13. Incidence
  14. Interventions
  15. Lesions
  16. Mammals
  17. Mediterranean region
  18. Methodologies
  19. Middle East
  20. monitoring
  21. mules
  22. peer-reviewed
  23. regions
  24. Techniques
  25. Tourism and travel
  26. ungulates
  27. vertebrates
  28. Working animals
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed