الإثنين 22 يوليو 2024

Belief in Horses' Capacity for Emotion Linked to Better Health and Welfare

موقع أيام نيوز

According to recent research, equids whose owners believe in their capacity to experience emotions or share an emotional bond with them tend to be in significantly better health.

The study, conducted by the University of Portsmouth and The Donkey Sanctuary, an international animal welfare charity, has found that working equids, such as donkeys, horses, and mules, whose owners believe in their capacity to feel emotions, experience significantly better health and welfare outcomes compared to those whose owners do not share such beliefs. 

This study is the first to establish a direct link between the well-being of working equids and the attitudes and beliefs of their owners, encompassing diverse countries and contexts worldwide.

The researchers visited equid-owning communities in Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, and Portugal, conducting thorough welfare assessments. This involved a comprehensive questionnaire for owners, probing their beliefs, values, and attitudes towards their animals, along with a detailed assessment of the equids’ welfare.

The findings, published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, revealed that animals whose owners believed in their emotional capacity or had an emotional bond with them exhibited significantly better health and higher body condition scores compared to those whose owners did not hold such beliefs or primarily focused on their profitability or utility. This research highlights the crucial role that human perceptions and attitudes play in shaping the well-being of working equids across diverse global settings.

Nearly 400 participants from six different countries were assessed using a welfare assessment protocol and a questionnaire to explore their attitudes as owners.