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Wiklund, Caisa, 2022. Är kvarlämnad balplast en skaderisk för hästar? : En enkätstudie av skadeförekomst och hästägares åsikter. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



The authority responsible of controlling compliance with the Swedish animal welfare legislation is the county administrative board. When doing so, they often have to make assessments based on formulations such as acceptable, enough or unnecessary. It is of utmost importance that these assessments are made equivalent in all 21 counties to ensure legal certainty. To aid the administrators at the county administrative board and to promote consensus between different counties the Swedish Board of Agriculture arranges recurrent courses and provides guidelines for interpreting the legislation. In addition to this they also receive questions on how the county administrative board best to apply specific paragraphs as well as other uncertainties concerning the animal welfare control. This study aims to aid in one such question, namely is round bale plastic associated with risk of injury for horses? To do this a questionnaire was distributed to Swedish horse owners through the social media platform Facebook. A total of 1610 answers were received. Out of these 537 horse owners stated that they had left part of the baling plastic or netting around the bale during feeding at some point within the last five years. When asked if any of their horses suffered an injury due to the plastic or netting 1% (8/545) of horse owners answered I don’t know and 4% (20/545) responded yes. Injuries most commonly caused by the baling material were associated with horses eating the plastic or netting and horses getting stuck or entangled in the material. With clinical symptoms predominantly consisting of wounds located to the horses’ mouth, throat, legs or hoofs or symptoms of colic. Most of which the horses recovered from. The study also included questions about the horse owners’ opinions about leaving plastic or netting. When asked if they consider baling plastic or netting to be associated with risk of injury to the horse 77% (1015/1322) said yes, 16% (210/1322) said no and 7% (97/1322) answered I don’t know. When asked if they had left baling plastic at some point during the last five years 49% (537/1099) stated that they had while 51% (558/1099) had not, indicating that it is a polarized issue among horse owners. To examine the horse owners’ decision-making process further the questionnaire also included questions about perceived advantages and disadvantages associated with leaving baling plastic or netting. The answers were processed through qualitative content analysis and both advantages and disadvantages had answers in the categories feed hygiene, horse welfare and animal owner, indicative of importance to the horse owner when making their decisions. This study concluded that leaving round bale wrapping when feeding horses is associated with a risk of injury, how big of a risk is a matter for further research. How this new knowledge can be used to influence the county administrative board’s consensus when assessing whether leftover bale wrapping is compatible with current animal welfare legislation or not, is ultimately a question for the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Main title:Är kvarlämnad balplast en skaderisk för hästar?
Subtitle:En enkätstudie av skadeförekomst och hästägares åsikter
Authors:Wiklund, Caisa
Supervisor:Yngvesson, Jenny
Examiner:Lundberg, Anna
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2022
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK005 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme, 180.0hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:Balplast, häst, skaderisk, nät, plast, hästägare, åsikter, kolik, traumatiska skador, utfodring, lagstiftning, kontroll, djurskydd, naturligt beteende
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:01 Nov 2022 11:27
Metadata Last Modified:02 Nov 2022 02:00

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