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Welfare of horses

Mejdell CM, Grøndahl AM, Ihler CF, Knævelsrud T. Velferd for hest. Norsk veterinærtidsskrift 2010; 122: 488-99

In this article, conditions of importance concerning the welfare of horses are discussed. Horses are social animals which in the wild live in groups. Foraging occupies most of their time. Housing and management routines impose limits to the behavioural needs of horses. The competence of horse owners is varying and may be low. Horses are often kept isolated from other horses inside stables and kept singly in outdoor paddocks. It is common to replace some of the roughage with concentrates which takes short time to consume. This may cause development of oral stereotypies and gastric ulcers. In horse sports, a variety of equipment and methods are used, some of which may cause discomfort and damage to the horse. Inadequate conditions concerning e.g. stabling close environment, management practices, training, and transportation may cause indigestion, respiratory problems, lameness, pain and unwanted behaviour. The dilemma concerning repeated veterinary treatment of competition horses is also discussed.

NVI authors

Mejdell Cecilie Marie

Forsker, fagansvarlig dyrevelferd