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Animals, Volume 6, Issue 2 (February 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing the Safety Behavior of German Equestrians: Attitudes towards Protective Equipment and Peer Behaviors
Animals 2016, 6(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6020014
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2121 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human interactions with horses entail certain risks. Although the acceptance and use of protective gear is increasing, a high number of incidents and very low or inconsistent voluntary use of safety equipment are reported. While past studies have examined factors influencing the use [...] Read more.
Human interactions with horses entail certain risks. Although the acceptance and use of protective gear is increasing, a high number of incidents and very low or inconsistent voluntary use of safety equipment are reported. While past studies have examined factors influencing the use of safety gear, they have explored neither their influence on the overall safety behavior, nor their relative influence in relation to each other. The aim of the present study is to fill this gap. We conducted an online survey with 2572 participants. By means of a subsequent multiple regression analysis, we explored 23 different variables in view of their influence on the protective behavior of equestrians. In total, we found 17 variables that exerted a significant influence. The results show that both having positive or negative attitudes towards safety products as well as the protective behavior of other horse owners or riding pupils from the stable have the strongest influence on the safety behavior of German equestrians. We consider such knowledge to be important for both scientists and practitioners, such as producers of protective gear or horse sport associations who might alter safety behavior in such a way that the number of horse-related injuries decreases in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horses and Risk)
Open AccessArticle
Look Before You Leap: What Are the Obstacles to Risk Calculation in the Equestrian Sport of Eventing?
Animals 2016, 6(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6020013
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2960 | PDF Full-text (673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
All horse-riding is risky. In competitive horse sports, eventing is considered the riskiest, and is often characterised as very dangerous. But based on what data? There has been considerable research on the risks and unwanted outcomes of horse-riding in general, and on particular [...] Read more.
All horse-riding is risky. In competitive horse sports, eventing is considered the riskiest, and is often characterised as very dangerous. But based on what data? There has been considerable research on the risks and unwanted outcomes of horse-riding in general, and on particular subsets of horse-riding such as eventing. However, there can be problems in accessing accurate, comprehensive and comparable data on such outcomes, and in using different calculation methods which cannot compare like with like. This paper critically examines a number of risk calculation methods used in estimating risk for riders in eventing, including one method which calculates risk based on hours spent in the activity and in one case concludes that eventing is more dangerous than motorcycle racing. This paper argues that the primary locus of risk for both riders and horses is the jump itself, and the action of the horse jumping. The paper proposes that risk calculation in eventing should therefore concentrate primarily on this locus, and suggests that eventing is unlikely to be more dangerous than motorcycle racing. The paper proposes avenues for further research to reduce the likelihood and consequences of rider and horse falls at jumps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horses and Risk)
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Open AccessReview
Improving the Understanding of Psychological Factors Contributing to Horse-Related Accident and Injury: Context, Loss of Focus, Cognitive Errors and Rigidity
Animals 2016, 6(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6020012
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 15 February 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1963 | PDF Full-text (194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While the role of the horse in riding hazards is well recognised, little attention has been paid to the role of specific theoretical psychological processes of humans in contributing to and mitigating risk. The injury, mortality or compensation claim rates for participants in [...] Read more.
While the role of the horse in riding hazards is well recognised, little attention has been paid to the role of specific theoretical psychological processes of humans in contributing to and mitigating risk. The injury, mortality or compensation claim rates for participants in the horse-racing industry, veterinary medicine and equestrian disciplines provide compelling evidence for improving risk mitigation models. There is a paucity of theoretical principles regarding the risk of injury and mortality associated with human–horse interactions. In this paper we introduce and apply the four psychological principles of context, loss of focus, global cognitive style and the application of self as the frame of reference as a potential approach for assessing and managing human–horse risks. When these principles produce errors that are combined with a rigid self-referenced point, it becomes clear how rapidly risk emerges and how other people and animals may repeatedly become at risk over time. Here, with a focus on the thoroughbred racing industry, veterinary practice and equestrian disciplines, we review the merits of contextually applied strategies, an evolving reappraisal of risk, flexibility, and focused specifics of situations that may serve to modify human behaviour and mitigate risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horses and Risk)
Open AccessProject Report
Dogs on the Move: Factors Impacting Animal Shelter and Rescue Organizations’ Decisions to Accept Dogs from Distant Locations
Animals 2016, 6(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6020011
Received: 8 December 2015 / Revised: 28 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 3 February 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2473 | PDF Full-text (853 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Long-distance dog transfer programs are a topic of burgeoning interest in the animal welfare community, but little research has focused on such programs. This exploratory study, which surveyed 193 individuals associated with animal shelter and rescue organizations in the United States, evaluated factors [...] Read more.
Long-distance dog transfer programs are a topic of burgeoning interest in the animal welfare community, but little research has focused on such programs. This exploratory study, which surveyed 193 individuals associated with animal shelter and rescue organizations in the United States, evaluated factors that impacted organizations’ decisions to transfer in dogs over long distances (>100 miles) and assessed what criteria were commonly valued by destination organizations. Specifically, we examined the following aspects of long-distance transfer programs: (1) logistics of long-distance dog transfers; (2) factors impacting dog selection; (3) medical requirements; (4) partnerships formed between source and destination organizations; and (5) perceptions of long-distance dog transfer programs by individuals affiliated with the destination organizations. This study revealed that many logistical considerations factor into transfer decisions and the formation of healthy partnerships between source and destination organizations. Participants indicated their organization’s willingness to receive dogs of various sizes, coat colors and ages, but organizations often had restrictions regarding the breeds they would accept. Study findings indicate some organizations have strict quarantine policies and pre-transfer medical requirements, while others have no such requirements. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Assessing Activity and Location of Individual Laying Hens in Large Groups Using Modern Technology
Animals 2016, 6(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6020010
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1907 | PDF Full-text (2149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tracking individual animals within large groups is increasingly possible, offering an exciting opportunity to researchers. Whereas previously only relatively indistinguishable groups of individual animals could be observed and combined into pen level data, we can now focus on individual actors within these large [...] Read more.
Tracking individual animals within large groups is increasingly possible, offering an exciting opportunity to researchers. Whereas previously only relatively indistinguishable groups of individual animals could be observed and combined into pen level data, we can now focus on individual actors within these large groups and track their activities across time and space with minimal intervention and disturbance. The development is particularly relevant to the poultry industry as, due to a shift away from battery cages, flock sizes are increasingly becoming larger and environments more complex. Many efforts have been made to track individual bird behavior and activity in large groups using a variety of methodologies with variable success. Of the technologies in use, each has associated benefits and detriments, which can make the approach more or less suitable for certain environments and experiments. Within this article, we have divided several tracking systems that are currently available into two major categories (radio frequency identification and radio signal strength) and review the strengths and weaknesses of each, as well as environments or conditions for which they may be most suitable. We also describe related topics including types of analysis for the data and concerns with selecting focal birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Heat Tolerance in Curraleiro Pe-Duro, Pantaneiro and Nelore Cattle Using Thermographic Images
Animals 2016, 6(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6020009
Received: 25 June 2015 / Revised: 10 September 2015 / Accepted: 11 September 2015 / Published: 29 January 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1624 | PDF Full-text (324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study was to compare physiological and thermographic responses to heat stress in three breeds of cattle. Fifteen animals of each of the Nelore, Pantaneiro and Curraleiro Pe-Duro breeds, of approximately two years of age, were evaluated. Heart and respiratory [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to compare physiological and thermographic responses to heat stress in three breeds of cattle. Fifteen animals of each of the Nelore, Pantaneiro and Curraleiro Pe-Duro breeds, of approximately two years of age, were evaluated. Heart and respiratory rates, rectal and surface temperature of animals as well as soil temperature were recorded at 8:30 and 15:30 on six days. Variance, correlation, principal factors and canonical analyses were carried out. There were significant differences in the rectal temperature, heart and respiratory rate between breeds (p < 0.001). Nelore and Pantaneiro breeds had the highest rectal temperatures and the lowest respiratory rate (p < 0.001). Breed was also significant for surface temperatures (p < 0.05) showing that this factor significantly affected the response of the animal to heat tolerance in different ways. The Curraleiro Pe-Duro breed had the lowest surface temperatures independent of the period evaluated, with fewer animals that suffered with the climatic conditions, so this may be considered the best adapted when heat challenged under the experimental conditions. Thermography data showed a good correlation with the physiological indexes, and body area, neck and rump were the main points. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
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Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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