Animals in International Development

Banwell, United Kingdom

Animals in International Development

Banwell, United Kingdom

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Reix C.E.,University of Bristol | Dikshit A.K.,Help in Suffering | Hockenhull J.,University of Bristol | Parker R.M.A.,University of Bristol | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Participatory methods are increasingly used in international human development, but scientific evaluation of their efficacy versus a control group is rare. Working horses support families in impoverished communities. Lameness and limb abnormalities are highly prevalent in these animals and a cause for welfare concern. We aimed to stimulate and evaluate improvements in lameness and limb abnormalities in horses whose owners took part in a 2-year participatory intervention project to reduce lameness (PI) versus a control group (C) in Jaipur, India. Methodology/Principal Findings: In total, 439 owners of 862 horses participated in the study. PI group owners from 21 communities were encouraged to meet regularly to discuss management and work practices influencing lameness and poor welfare and to track their own progress in improving these. Lameness examinations (41 parameters) were conducted at the start of the study (Baseline), and after 1 year and 2 years. Results were compared with control horses from a further 21 communities outside the intervention. Of the 149 horses assessed on all three occasions, PI horses showed significantly (P<0.05) greater improvement than C horses in 20 parameters, most notably overall lameness score, measures of sole pain and range of movement on limb flexion. Control horses showed slight but significantly greater improvements in four parameters, including frog quality in fore and hindlimbs. Conclusions/Significance: This participatory intervention succeeded in improving lameness and some limb abnormalities in working horses, by encouraging changes in management and work practices which were feasible within owners' socioeconomic and environmental constraints. Demonstration of the potentially sustainable improvements achieved here should encourage further development of participatory intervention approaches to benefit humans and animals in other contexts. © 2015 Reix et al.


PubMed | Help in Suffering, Animals in International Development, University of Bristol, Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices and Center for Animal Welfare
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Participatory methods are increasingly used in international human development, but scientific evaluation of their efficacy versus a control group is rare. Working horses support families in impoverished communities. Lameness and limb abnormalities are highly prevalent in these animals and a cause for welfare concern. We aimed to stimulate and evaluate improvements in lameness and limb abnormalities in horses whose owners took part in a 2-year participatory intervention project to reduce lameness (PI) versus a control group (C) in Jaipur, India.In total, 439 owners of 862 horses participated in the study. PI group owners from 21 communities were encouraged to meet regularly to discuss management and work practices influencing lameness and poor welfare and to track their own progress in improving these. Lameness examinations (41 parameters) were conducted at the start of the study (Baseline), and after 1 year and 2 years. Results were compared with control horses from a further 21 communities outside the intervention. Of the 149 horses assessed on all three occasions, PI horses showed significantly (P<0.05) greater improvement than C horses in 20 parameters, most notably overall lameness score, measures of sole pain and range of movement on limb flexion. Control horses showed slight but significantly greater improvements in four parameters, including frog quality in fore and hindlimbs.This participatory intervention succeeded in improving lameness and some limb abnormalities in working horses, by encouraging changes in management and work practices which were feasible within owners socioeconomic and environmental constraints. Demonstration of the potentially sustainable improvements achieved here should encourage further development of participatory intervention approaches to benefit humans and animals in other contexts.


Pritchard J.C.,The Brooke | Van Dijk L.,Animals in International Development | Ali M.,Brooke India | Pradhan S.K.,Brooke India
Animal Welfare | Year: 2012

Since 2005, owners of draught and pack horses, mules and donkeys in nine districts of Uttar Pradesh, India, have received support from a UK-based charity, the Brooke. One thousand, three hundred and ninety-six village-level groups of owners and carers, responsible for 29,500 animals, were facilitated to develop their own welfare assessment protocols using a participatory learning and action process adapted from recognised good practice in human social development. Each group assessed the welfare of their animals collectively, using findings to generate action plans for improving equine health, husbandry and working practices. Welfare assessments were repeated at 1 to 3 month intervals. Competitiveness between participants to improve their animals' welfare acted as a driver to increase the number of indicators and sensitivity of rating scales, enabling differentiation of small, incremental improvements in order to identify a 'winner' of each welfare assessment. Binary or three-point 'traffic light' (red-amber-green) scales evolved into a range of 5-, 10-, 20-point or continuous scales, then into multi-level and weighted measures to quantify the welfare improvements seen. Efforts to aggregate multi-dimensional indicators into a single 'winning' score led to indices describing welfare at individual animal level ('welfare index') and population level ('village index'). Benefits of owner-driven monitoring include high levels of commitment and strong peer motivation or pressure to take action. Welfare monitoring and action to improve welfare are integrated within a single process carried out by the same people, in contrast to the separation of evaluation and implementation of welfare improvement seen in inspection or accreditation schemes. Challenges include aggregation of results from a variety of protocols for external analysis, reporting or certification. © 2012 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare.


Whay H.R.,University of Bristol | Dikshit A.K.,Help in Suffering | Hockenhull J.,University of Bristol | Parker R.M.A.,University of Bristol | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Previous studies have found the prevalence of lameness in working horses to be 90-100%. Risk factors for lameness in this important equine population, together with risk-reduction strategies adopted by their owners, are poorly understood. The objective was to uncover risk factors for lameness and limb abnormalities in working horses, by associating clinical lameness examination findings on three occasions over two years with owner reported changes in equine management and work practices over this period. Methodology/Principal Findings: Twenty-one communities of horse owners in Jaipur, India, took part in a participatory intervention (PI) project aiming to reduce risk factors for poor welfare, particularly lameness and limb problems. Associations between quantitative measures of equine lameness/limb abnormalities and reported changes in management and work practices were compared with 21 control (C) communities of owners where no intervention had taken place. Key findings from 'complete cases', where the same horse stayed with the same owner for the whole study period (PI group = 73 owners of 83 horses, C group = 58 owners of 66 horses), were that more positive statements of change in equine management and work practices were made by PI group owners than C group owners. A mixed picture of potential risk factors emerged: some reported management improvements, for example reducing the weight of the load for cart animals, were associated with improved limbs and lameness, and others, such as making improvements in shoeing and increasing the age at which their animals started work, with negative outcomes. Conclusions/Significance: This study illustrates the complexity and interacting nature of risk factors for lameness in working horses, and highlights the importance of longitudinal investigations that recognise and address this. PI group owners found the project useful and requested similar inputs in future. Our findings demonstrate the value of exploratory and participatory research methodology in the field of working horse welfare. © 2015 Whay et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


PubMed | Help in Suffering, Animals in International Development, University of Bristol and Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Previous studies have found the prevalence of lameness in working horses to be 90-100%. Risk factors for lameness in this important equine population, together with risk-reduction strategies adopted by their owners, are poorly understood. The objective was to uncover risk factors for lameness and limb abnormalities in working horses, by associating clinical lameness examination findings on three occasions over two years with owner reported changes in equine management and work practices over this period.Twenty-one communities of horse owners in Jaipur, India, took part in a participatory intervention (PI) project aiming to reduce risk factors for poor welfare, particularly lameness and limb problems. Associations between quantitative measures of equine lameness/limb abnormalities and reported changes in management and work practices were compared with 21 control (C) communities of owners where no intervention had taken place. Key findings from complete cases, where the same horse stayed with the same owner for the whole study period (PI group = 73 owners of 83 horses, C group = 58 owners of 66 horses), were that more positive statements of change in equine management and work practices were made by PI group owners than C group owners. A mixed picture of potential risk factors emerged: some reported management improvements, for example reducing the weight of the load for cart animals, were associated with improved limbs and lameness, and others, such as making improvements in shoeing and increasing the age at which their animals started work, with negative outcomes.This study illustrates the complexity and interacting nature of risk factors for lameness in working horses, and highlights the importance of longitudinal investigations that recognise and address this. PI group owners found the project useful and requested similar inputs in future. Our findings demonstrate the value of exploratory and participatory research methodology in the field of working horse welfare.


Regan F.H.,University of Bristol | Hockenhull J.,University of Bristol | Pritchard J.C.,Animals in International Development | Waterman-Pearson A.E.,University of Bristol | Whay H.R.,University of Bristol
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: The donkey has a reputation for stoicism and its behavioural repertoire in clinical contexts is under-reported. Lack of understanding of the norms of donkey behaviour and how it may vary over time can compromise use of behavioural measures as indicators of pain or emotional state. The objective of this study was to find out whether the behaviour of working donkeys was influenced by gender, the time of day or differed between days with a view to assessing how robust these measures are for inclusion in a working donkey ethogram. Methodology/Principal Findings: Frequency and consistency of postural and event behaviours were measured in 21 adult working donkeys (12 females; 9 males). Instantaneous (scan) and focal sampling were used to measure maintenance, lying, ingestive and investigative behaviours at hourly intervals for ten sessions on each of two consecutive days. High head carriage and biting were seen more frequently in male donkeys than females (P<0.001). Level head carriage, licking/ chewing and head-shaking were observed more frequently in female donkeys (P<0.001). Tail position, ear orientation, foot stamping, rolling/lying and head-shaking behaviours were affected by time of day (P<0.001). However, only two variations in ear orientation were found to be significantly different over the two days of observations (P<0.001). Tail swishing, head shaking, foot stamping, and ears held sideways and downwards were significantly correlated (P<0.001) and are assumed to be behaviours to discourage flies. Conclusions/Significance: All donkeys expressed an extensive behavioural repertoire, although some differences in behaviour were evident between genders. While most behaviours were consistent over time, some behaviours were influenced by time of day. Few behaviours differed between the two test days. The findings can be used to inform the development of a robust, evidence-based ethogram for working donkeys. © 2014 Regan et al.


PubMed | University of Bristol and Animals in International Development
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Veterinary record open | Year: 2015

Working donkeys are at risk of developing multiple, acute and chronic health problems. The ability to recognise and assess pain in donkeys associated with these health problems is important for people responsible for their care and treatment, including owners and veterinary or animal health workers.The aims of this study were firstly to quantify the prevalence of a range of clinical abnormalities within a sample of working donkeys; and secondly to find out whether these abnormalities were associated with potential behavioural indicators of pain.One hundred and thirty-three entire male adult working donkeys were observed for ten minutes before and after a one-hour rest period. Using an ethogram developed and refined in associated studies, posture and event behaviours were recorded by a single observer. The health of each donkey was then assessed by a veterinarian for specific clinical abnormalities.Working donkeys have a high prevalence of clinical abnormalities and a number of behaviours are associated with these. Significant associations were found between observed behaviours and systemic, ocular and limb-related clinical abnormalities. Cumulative clinical scores for limb-related problems were associated with a higher frequency of leg trembling, knuckling of the forelimb, leg-lifting and weight-shifting behaviours (all R0.4; P<0.001) and with a lower frequency of weight-bearing evenly on all four feet (R=-0.458; P<0.001).The specific behaviour changes associated with clinical abnormalities identified in this study, together with general changes in demeanour identified in related studies, may be useful in assessing the presence and severity of pain in working donkeys and their response to medical and palliative interventions.


PubMed | University of Bristol and Animals in International Development
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Equine veterinary journal | Year: 2015

To identify pain-related behaviour in working donkeys in order to assist their owners and veterinarians to recognise and manage pain.To identify general and specific behaviours associated with pain or its relief using a trial with the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam (Metacam).Observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.Forty adult male working donkeys with common clinical abnormalities were randomly assigned to receive either a single loading dose of meloxicam (1.2mg/kg bwt per os; n = 20) or a placebo (30mg honey/250ml water per os; n = 20). Observation of postural and event behaviours was undertaken at 2 pretreatment time points followed by 4 post treatment time points, using scan (instantaneous) and focal sampling.In comparison to pretreatment baselines, donkeys receiving meloxicam were more alert post treatment than the placebo group. They were observed lying down less frequently (P = 0.007), with their eyes closed less frequently (P = 0.04) and having a high head carriage more frequently (P = 0.02). Dozing behaviour decreased after meloxicam compared with the pretreatment baseline (P = 0.03). Donkeys given meloxicam also showed more interest in their environment, turning to look at environmental stimuli more frequently (P = 0.05) than those in the placebo group post treatment. Neither the meloxicam nor the placebo group showed a significant post treatment improvement in lameness scores.Working donkeys receiving meloxicam were more active and alert compared with their pretreatment behaviour, confirming the potential value of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in identifying behaviours indicative of pain in working donkeys. Behavioural assessment of pain in working donkeys in field clinic conditions will enable veterinary staff and owners to identify welfare issues promptly and monitor response to analgesia. The Summary is available in Chinese--see Supporting information.

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