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Ravnäs, Cecilia, 2024. Svenska ryttares egen uppfattning om sin kunskap om djurskyddslagstiftningen och upplevd tillämpning i ett träning- och tävlingssammanhang. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Applied Animal Science and Welfare



In recent years, aversive training methods and welfare scandals in equestrian competitions up to highest level have become widely discussed topics on social media and other news platforms. The main welfare concerns that are discussed are tight nosebands, harsh use of bits and double bridles, and head- and neck positions known as rollkür. Equestrian sport is at risk of losing its social licence to operate (SLO) if changes are not made to improve the welfare of horses. The Swedish animal welfare legislation outlines what is permitted and prohibited regarding training and competing with animals for sports purposes. The aim of this study was to understand the attitudes of Swedish equestrians towards horse welfare and animal welfare legislation in a training and competition environment. The study also aimed to investigate how equestrians perceive the implementation of animal welfare legislation and the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the welfare of the horse, a policy document established by the Swedish Equestrian Federation (SvRF) that everyone involved in equestrian sport is required to adhere to. Furthermore, the study sought to explore if stakeholders want to see a change or revision of the animal welfare legislation and competition rules.
An online survey was developed in Netigate.se. The survey consisted of 27 questions and was distributed on social media and equestrian news sites. A total of n=1087 people completed the survey. Result showed that “aversive use of bits” and “head and neck position with the nose clearly behind the vertical” were the most perceived welfare concerns in both training environments and at competition venues. The respondents had generally good knowledge of the animal welfare legislation but less in-depth knowledge of the specific content of the legislation. The same trend could be seen regarding respondents’ perceived knowledge of the SvRF CoC. The respondents also expressed that there is a significant need to encourage riders to prioritize horse welfare to a higher degree. The most common measure suggested by respondents to improve horse welfare during training and competition was to increase education about horse welfare and animal protection. The respondents also suggested an increase of official judges that solely focus upon assessing horse welfare during competition.
In conclusion, the results show an increased need for horse welfare improvements in and out of the competition arena, whereby the education of equestrians and judges being reported as of utmost importance.

Main title:Svenska ryttares egen uppfattning om sin kunskap om djurskyddslagstiftningen och upplevd tillämpning i ett träning- och tävlingssammanhang
Authors:Ravnäs, Cecilia
Supervisor:Hartmann, Elke and Åsbjer, Elina
Examiner:Yngvesson, Jenny
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2024
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK007 Etologi och djurskydd (kandidat) 180,0 hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Applied Animal Science and Welfare
Keywords:Hästvälfärd, tävling, lagstiftning, kunskap
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Deposited On:03 Jul 2024 10:31
Metadata Last Modified:05 Jul 2024 01:16

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