The Horse Welfare Assessment Protocol was developed as a tool to improve horse welfare and prevent welfare problems. How different levels of feedback to horse owners and stable managers from these assessments affected the actual horse welfare was investigated in this study from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Following the initial welfare assessment of 21 stables, half of these received extensive information and support regarding the welfare measures and relevance of the results, and the other half only received the results without additional information. Upon re-assessment, six months later, no significant changes were seen in the stable overall score in either group. There were some significant changes between stables and in individual measures, where some measures had improved and others deteriorated. The observed improvements in both groups suggest that assessment alone (with no detailed feedback) might raise awareness but it cannot yet be concluded whether or not the type of feedback affects overall horse welfare.
Link to publication
Viksten, SM; Visser, EK; Hitchens, PL; Blokhuis, HJ. The effects of feedback from horse welfare assessments. Animal Welfare, Volume 27, Number 2, 1 May 2018, pp. 125-131(7)