Assessing Equine Welfare Objectively

The key is not to point out what is right or wrong, but what changes to make to improve horse and human welfare alike.
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By Siraya Chunekamrai, DVM, PhD
WEVA Regional Ambassador—Thailand
The Horseptial Equine Surgery, Nakornratchasima, Thailand
Lampang Pony Welfare Foundation
Cambodia Pony Welfare Organization


There are an estimated 100 million working equids in the world that are sources of financial stability for many families in developing countries. It is not beyond reason for a working horse owner to say that when “something happens to my horse or pony, then something happens to me.”

Today many agrarian societies are moving toward rapid development, and the horse, in this case, is often used in the tourism sector. The animal is contributing not only to a family’s income, but also to a community, township, or region’s identity and attraction. In either case, animal welfare is innately linked to human welfare.

People residing in developed countries often visit such places briefly and are sometimes quick to pass judgement on what is right or wrong. In fact, compassion often turns to personal or social campaigns against the use of animals believed to have poor welfare in these communities

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