The number of equines injured as a result of incidents during road transport is currently unknown in the United Kingdom. Although previous research has identified factors that affect an equine’s behavioural and physiological responses to transportation, their contribution to incident occurrence and injury risk is unclear. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with incident occurrence and equine injury during transportation by road. An online survey was administered between 12th May 2017 and 21st July 2017 in the UK. The survey was open to those transporting equines non-commercially and comprised two sections. Questions relating to general transport behaviour were completed by all participants. Participants who had experienced an incident then provided details of these, including outcomes. Incidents were reported by 16.2% (342/2116) of participants, with details included for 399 incidents. Those participants who had a professional/competitive involvement with equines reported more incidents than those with a predominantly leisure involvement (p < 0.01). Equine behaviour was the attributed cause of 56% of incidents reported and most incidents occurred during the first hour of travel (65%). In over 50% of the incidents reported, the equine was injured, with those incidents attributed to transport vehicle malfunction being associated with the highest percentage of injury (68%). This study highlights the need for better preparation of the equine for transportation and to identify risk factors associated with transport vehicle type, design and operation.
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