Welfare Interpretation Manual

This manual helps explain the animal welfare issues that affect horses, donkeys and mules working in developing countries.

A man carrying out an equine welfare assessment

The Welfare Interpretation Manual offers guidance to field-based staff assessing the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries. It contains information about general concepts of animal welfare and detail on key welfare issues that affect working equids. Means of resolution appropriate for the low income context are also suggested.

This is a very informative document supported by evidence. It will really help us in better interpretation of welfare assessment parameters and its dissemination with staff and communities.

Dr Nidhish Bhardwaj, Senior Welfare Assessor, India

Why have we created this manual?

  • To provide a practical and context appropriate resource for specialists looking after working equids in the field
  • To provide a broad overview of what animal welfare is (Chapter I) 
  • To describe welfare issues in more detail (topics in Chapter II)
  • Our Standardised Equine Based Welfare Assessment Tool (PDF, xkb) explains how we measure these, whilst here we explain why we measure them. Why it is a welfare issue, the significance to the animal, possible causation, and suggested means of resolution are described. 

 The topics include:

  • Animal health: eyes, mucous membranes, ectoparasites, body condition, nasal discharge, respiratory noise, spinal pain, body lesions, lip lesions, interference lesions, lameness, hoof shape and quality and frog health
  • Animal behaviour: apathy, fear and aggression
  • Poor human practices: hobbling, firing, mutilations, castration and underage working.

Who might be interested in reading it?

  • Vets, welfare specialists and researchers interested in working equid welfare in developing countries 
  • Students of animal behaviour, animal welfare, biology or veterinary medicine
  • Non-technical audiences. Anyone who's interested in working equid welfare in developing countries or wants to learn about Brooke’s work will also enjoy it.

Download the Welfare Interpretation Manual

Warning: this manual contains graphic images of equid wounds which some may find distressing.

Use the following reference to cite this document:

Brooke Hospital for Animals (2016) Welfare Interpretation Manual. (Chapter/topic name) p.(Pages used). Available at: www.thebrooke.org/for-professionals/welfare-interpretation-manual. (Accessed: date accessed). 

© Brooke Hospital for Animals 2016