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Animals 2016, 6(3), 20; doi:10.3390/ani6030020

The Management of Horses during Fireworks in New Zealand

Massey Equine, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kirrilly Thompson
Received: 5 January 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 9 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horses and Risk)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [474 KB, uploaded 9 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

Within popular press there has been much coverage of the negative effects associated with firework and horses. The effect of fireworks has been documented in companion animals, yet no studies have investigated the negative effects, or otherwise, of fireworks on horses. This study aims to document horse responses and current management strategies to fireworks via an online survey. Of the total number of horses, 39% (1987/4765) were rated as “anxious”, 40% (1816/4765) “very anxious” and only 21% (965/4765) rated as “not anxious” around fireworks. Running (82%, 912/1107) was the most common behaviour reported, with no difference between property type (p > 0.05) or location (p > 0.05). Possibly as a consequence of the high frequency of running, 35% (384/1107) of respondents reported having horses break through fences in response to fireworks and a quarter (26%, 289/1099) reported that their horse(s) had received injuries associated with fireworks. The most common management strategy was moving their horse(s) to a paddock away from the fireworks (77%) and to stable/yard them (55%). However, approximately 30% reported these management strategies to be ineffective. Of the survey participants, 90% (996/1104) were against the sale of fireworks for private use. View Full-Text
Keywords: fireworks; horses; anxiety; behaviour; fear fireworks; horses; anxiety; behaviour; fear
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gronqvist, G.; Rogers, C.; Gee, E. The Management of Horses during Fireworks in New Zealand. Animals 2016, 6, 20.

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