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Research article2015Peer reviewed

Bienestar animal en equinos (Equus Caballus): Una evaluación comparativa en reproductores del sur de España

Sanmartin Sanchez, Lourdes; Perea, Jose; Blanco-Penedo, Isabel; Perez-Rico, Almudena; Luis Vega-Pla, Jose


The aim of this study was to apply a protocol to evaluate the welfare of horses used for reproduction purposes and to compare the welfare conditions of two management types. A protocol adapted to the equine species was carried out by direct observation of 45 indicators in two subpopulations (49 stabled stallions and 43 broodmares in semi-freedom). Welfare assessment included behaviour, health, and the way in which animals responded to two different managements. Results revealed significant differences (P <= 0.05) of animal welfare under different management conditions. Regarding the individual area's safety and dimensions, the assessment showed that only in stallions the individual area was insufficient (85%) with a higher risk of injury (20.54%). In terms of feeding regime, a higher percentage of stallions left feed crumbs (26.19%) and presented increased scores of body condition (42.86%). In addition, abnormal behaviour was only observed on 8.16% of the housed animals. Health indicators showed higher incidence of lameness (41.68%), pain in the back (62.79%) and tail broken hairs (27.66%) in stallions; while the severity of injuries in the neck and back (55.81%) was higher in females as well as the rate of nasal discharge (11.63%). The methodology for evaluating welfare allowed to determine the incidence of health problems and behavioural responses, and the influence of the management system on animal welfare, which is of prime importance for future interventions for the improvement of the animal welfare status.


Horse welfare; behavior; housing conditions; extensive management; reproduction

Published in

Revista Cientifica-Facultad De Ciencias Veterinarias
2015, Volume: 25, number: 6, pages: 471-480

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Clinical Science

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