New study to explore horse transportation

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Australian researchers are hoping a new study will cast fresh light on horse transport practices and transport-related illnesses.

Australian horse owners and organisations are invited to complete an online 15-minute survey if they have transported horses within the past two years.

Barbara Padalino, a fully qualified equine veterinarian who is a PhD student at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science, said the aim of the research was to get insights into how people managed and prepared their horses for transportation, the act of transporting horses, and how they managed the animals afterwards.

“If any diseases or injuries have occurred to your horses related to a transport event in the last two years, we are interested in documenting and investigating the underlying potential reasons behind these events,” she said.

“The aim of this study is to gather data to identify transportation risk factors, and therefore potentially make horse transportation safer and less stressful.”

However, to achieve this the researchers needed the “real world” input of horse owners.

The research team was targeting people involved in the management, care and transport of horses, either professionals or amateurs.

They intend, among other things, to explore the relationship between transport practices and the occurrence of any transport-related illness.

“By filling in this survey, horse owners will be making a valuable contribution to improving horse health and welfare,” Padalino said.

The results will be used as part of a PhD thesis.

Those interested in the results can leave an email address. They will ultimately be invited to a presentation and discussion of the results, or, alternatively, receive an email detailing the major findings.

The survey can be accessed here.

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