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Using the Five Domains Model to Assess the Adverse Impacts of Husbandry, Veterinary, and Equitation Interventions on Horse Welfare

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia
San Francisco SPCA, 201 Alabama Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Hapton, Norwich NR15 1SP, UK
Life Sciences Department, University of Limerick, Limerick V94 T9PX, Ireland
The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0NU, UK
Horse SA: 105 King William St, Kent Town 5067, Australia
RSPCA NSW, PO Box 34, Yagoona 2199, Australia
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center, 382 W Street Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA
Equitation Science International, 3 Wonderland Ave, Tuerong 3915, Victoria, Australia
Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Royal Veterinary College, 4 Royal College St, Kings Cross, London NW1 OTU, UK
The Horse Trust, Slad Lane, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire HP27 OPP, UK
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia
Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, Langford BS40 5DU, UK
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK
RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, Sussex, RH13 9RS, UK
RSPCA Australia, P.O. Box 265, Deakin West, Australian Capital Territory 2600, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2018, 8(3), 41;
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 18 March 2018
The aim of this study was to conduct a series of paper-based exercises in order to assess the negative (adverse) welfare impacts, if any, of common interventions on domestic horses across a broad range of different contexts of equine care and training. An international panel (with professional expertise in psychology, equitation science, veterinary science, education, welfare, equestrian coaching, advocacy, and community engagement; n = 16) met over a four-day period to define and assess these interventions, using an adaptation of the domain-based assessment model. The interventions were considered within 14 contexts: C1 Weaning; C2 Diet; C3 Housing; C4 Foundation training; C5 Ill-health and veterinary interventions (chiefly medical); C6 Ill-health and veterinary interventions (chiefly surgical); C7 Elective procedures; C8 Care procedures; C9 Restraint for management procedures; C10 Road transport; C11 Activity—competition; C12 Activity—work; C13 Activity—breeding females; and C14 Activity—breeding males. Scores on a 1–10 scale for Domain 5 (the mental domain) gathered during the workshop were compared with overall impact scores on a 1–10 scale assigned by the same panellists individually before the workshop. The most severe (median and interquartile range, IQR) impacts within each context were identified during the workshop as: C1 abrupt, individual weaning (10 IQR 1); C2 feeding 100% low-energy concentrate (8 IQR 2.5); C3 indoor tie stalls with no social contact (9 IQR 1.5); C4 both (i) dropping horse with ropes (9 IQR 0.5) and forced flexion (9 IQR 0.5); C5 long-term curative medical treatments (8 IQR 3); C6 major deep intracavity surgery (8.5 IQR 1); C7 castration without veterinary supervision (10 IQR 1); C8 both (i) tongue ties (8 IQR 2.5) and (ii) restrictive nosebands (8 IQR 2.5); C9 ear twitch (8 IQR 1); C10 both (i) individual transport (7.00 IQR 1.5) and group transport with unfamiliar companions (7 IQR 1.5); C11 both (i) jumps racing (8 IQR 2.5) and Western performance (8 IQR 1.5); C12 carriage and haulage work (6 IQR 1.5); C13 wet nurse during transition between foals (7.5 IQR 3.75); and C14 teaser horse (7 IQR 8). Associations between pre-workshop and workshop scores were high, but some rankings changed after workshop participation, particularly relating to breeding practices. Domain 1 had the weakest association with Domain 5. The current article discusses the use of the domain-based model in equine welfare assessment, and offers a series of assumptions within each context that future users of the same approach may make when assessing animal welfare under the categories reported here. It also discusses some limitations in the framework that was used to apply the model. View Full-Text
Keywords: horse; welfare assessment; equitation; husbandry; five domains horse; welfare assessment; equitation; husbandry; five domains
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    Description: Appendix C - Assumptions (shaded text) and notes (unshaded text) made when panellists considered interventions. NB. In some of the Notes in the following Tables, the larger numerals in Column 1 refer to the original pre-Workshop workshop categories, hence the apparent gaps.
MDPI and ACS Style

McGreevy, P.; Berger, J.; De Brauwere, N.; Doherty, O.; Harrison, A.; Fiedler, J.; Jones, C.; McDonnell, S.; McLean, A.; Nakonechny, L.; Nicol, C.; Preshaw, L.; Thomson, P.; Tzioumis, V.; Webster, J.; Wolfensohn, S.; Yeates, J.; Jones, B. Using the Five Domains Model to Assess the Adverse Impacts of Husbandry, Veterinary, and Equitation Interventions on Horse Welfare. Animals 2018, 8, 41.

AMA Style

McGreevy P, Berger J, De Brauwere N, Doherty O, Harrison A, Fiedler J, Jones C, McDonnell S, McLean A, Nakonechny L, Nicol C, Preshaw L, Thomson P, Tzioumis V, Webster J, Wolfensohn S, Yeates J, Jones B. Using the Five Domains Model to Assess the Adverse Impacts of Husbandry, Veterinary, and Equitation Interventions on Horse Welfare. Animals. 2018; 8(3):41.

Chicago/Turabian Style

McGreevy, Paul, Jeannine Berger, Nic De Brauwere, Orla Doherty, Anna Harrison, Julie Fiedler, Claudia Jones, Sue McDonnell, Andrew McLean, Lindsay Nakonechny, Christine Nicol, Liane Preshaw, Peter Thomson, Vicky Tzioumis, John Webster, Sarah Wolfensohn, James Yeates, and Bidda Jones. 2018. "Using the Five Domains Model to Assess the Adverse Impacts of Husbandry, Veterinary, and Equitation Interventions on Horse Welfare" Animals 8, no. 3: 41.

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