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Sanidad Militar

versión impresa ISSN 1887-8571


SANMARTIN SANCHEZ, L.; PEREA MUNOZ, J.M.; BLANCO PENEDO, I.  y  VEGA PLA, J.L.. Assessment of the welfare of foals belonging to the Centro Militar de Cría Caballar (Military Centre for Horse Breeding) of Écija (Sevilla). Sanid. Mil. [online]. 2016, vol.72, n.2, pp.95-101. ISSN 1887-8571.

Introduction: Animal welfare arises from the knowledge of animals as beings that experience pain, suffering or stress. The welfare assessment in foals includes behaviour, health and individual response to management. Evaluation should check for signs that may lead to stress situations. Objectives: Proposal a methodological basis for evaluating the welfare of future breeding horses and the welfare assessment of management system. Material and methods: Development of a protocol adapted to foals by weighting 45 indicators and welfare assessment of 104 foals breed in freedom (69 males and 35 females). Results: The implementation of the protocol resulted in the detection of significant deviation in the welfare of animals. Housing indicators revealed areas with wet condition and a risk of injury. Abnormal behaviours were not observed in the foal population. Health indicators revealed incidence of back pain (23.61%), nasal (76.47%) and ocular (16.35%) discharge, and a low level of alterations in the tegument (8.65%) consequence of itchiness or rubbing. A higher incidence of body lesions in the limbs was observed (90.38%). Conclusion: The protocol for welfare assessment developed in the present study provided first insights and detection of suboptimal health status and behaviour of the future breeding population.

Palabras clave : Welfare; Equine; Foals; Young Horses; Weaning.

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