A vision for improving horse welfare has been set out following research carried out by the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences, in the United Kingdom, and funded by international horse welfare charity World Horse Welfare.
The findings will be unveiled at the House of Commons on July 12. This marks the first time welfare organizations, breeders, the equine industry, and the veterinary profession have come together to agree on a strategy to best improve the welfare of the 800,000 horses in the U.K.
The study found that many horses’ welfare needs are not currently being met and highlighted four welfare priorities.
"Bringing together the views of people associated with horses in England and Wales has provided an overview of horse welfare, from the day-to-day concerns of equine caregivers to identifying four priority challenges to equine welfare,” said study author Siobhan Mullan, BVMS, PhD, a research fellow in animal welfare science, ethics, and law at the University of Bristol. "This research has also identified how equine welfare can be improved, by addressing both the priority challenges, and a wider set of industry and horse-based needs."
Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare chief executive, added, "This research report provides a vital insight to the U.K.’s equine sector, mapping out the welfare landscape from a wide range of sector experts and stakeholders.
"In order for World Horse Welfare and others to most effectively address the welfare challenges facing U.K. equines, we need to better understand today’s welfare priorities and this research will provide a v