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Sandberg, Agneta, 2012. Evaluation of the animal welfare work performed by the licensing committees and a proposal on how to establish an enhanced animal welfare assurance program for the Swedish Trotting Association. Second cycle, A2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health

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Abstract

According to the basic values of the Swedish Trotting Association the horse and its welfare should always be held in highest consideration. One part of the animal welfare work in the organization is to ensure good horse management practices by controlling all active trainers through the local licensing committees situated at the Swedish racetracks. The Swedish Board of Agriculture stated that high quality animal welfare assurance programs used by the industry organizations can be used in the risk assessment of the official animal welfare control to make the official control work more effective and the ambition of the Swedish Trotting Association is to establish an animal welfare assurance program which may be approved by the Swedish Board of Agriculture. Racehorses are exposed to welfare hazards both in their management as well as during training and racing and factors like handling, training, feedstuff, stable environment, medication and the possibility to express natural behavior all affect the welfare of the horses.

The aim of the project is to investigate and evaluate the animal welfare work performed by the licensing committees and to give advice on how to improve the industry’s animal welfare control. A questionnaire was sent out to all licensing committees and the results showed that they were in general satisfied with their work situation and their ability to communicate with the trainers but that they were not offered enough education in animal welfare with relevant legislation and disease control as the most mentioned gaps of knowledge. A majority of the committees believed that the committees over the country were not unified in their judgments and they felt a need for more active support from the Swedish Trotting Association. 39 % of the committees failed to control their trainers within the correct time interval.

There is room for improvements in the animal welfare audits of the Swedish Trotting Association. The auditors need to be well educated and updated on animal welfare standards and legislation and their work needs to be standardized over the country. The protocol and control points need to be updated and web based tools could be extended and used for both distribution of information and reporting of auditing results. The auditors would function as a second-party control through their audits of the trainers and their animal management and their work should be revised by a third party control. Animal welfare work is a constantly ongoing process and a well-functioning animal welfare assurance program needs to be continuously evaluated and updated to meet the demands of today and to function as a useful tool in preventing animal welfare concerns.

Main title:Evaluation of the animal welfare work performed by the licensing committees and a proposal on how to establish an enhanced animal welfare assurance program for the Swedish Trotting Association
Authors:Sandberg, Agneta
Supervisor:Yngvesson, Jenny and Åkerström, Göran
Examiner:Loberg, Jenny
Series:Studentarbete (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa)
Volume/Sequential designation:408
Year of Publication:2012
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:VM003 Animal Science - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:standardbred, trotter, racing, welfare, risk, assurance program
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-1491
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-1491
Subjects:Animal husbandry
Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Language:English
Deposited On:15 Aug 2012 11:27
Metadata Last Modified:15 Aug 2012 11:27

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