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Archivos de medicina veterinaria

versão impressa ISSN 0301-732X

Resumo

MARQUEZ, C; ESCOBAR, A  e  TADICH, TA. Husbandry and behaviour characteristics in stabled horses in the south of Chile: A preliminary study. Arch. med. vet. [online]. 2010, vol.42, n.3, pp.203-207. ISSN 0301-732X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0301-732X2010000300012.

The use of stables for horses has become a routine practice, especially for those used in equestrian sports, affecting some behaviours due to the changes in their natural environment which can have a detrimental effect on their welfare. In Chile the conditions under which horses are kept in stables in relation to welfare have not been described. This is why the main objective of this study was to describe the housing systems for horses used in the south of Chile and determine if they have the conditions required to maintain an adequate welfare status. Fourteen stud farms, including 283 horses of different breeds located in Valdivia, Ranco, Osorno and Chiloé provinces were visited. Direct and indirect methods were used for the evaluation; these included aspects of health, behaviour, handling of the horses and training of the personnel. According to our results most horses had a good body condition score (88%), 2.5% presented lesions and only 0.7% were lame. All stud farms had deworming schedules and the majority a vaccination programme. The main problems were related with the presence of behavioural disorders (18.4%), low number of food rations per day, size of the stables and lack of training of the personnel, especially in relation to animal welfare concepts. All stud farms had a high level of concern about the care of their horses. However, the lack of knowledge in some aspects related to horse management need to be addressed through training in order to improve horses welfare.

Palavras-chave : equines; welfare; management practices; stables.

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