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Study confirms value of Ridden-Horse-Ethogram for detecting pain
There was no significant difference between real-time scores and video-based scores for the experienced assessor.
Tool could help vets communicate more effectively with clients

Veterinary professionals that have been trained to use a Ridden-Horse-Ethogram are better able to identify pain-related behaviour in horses, according to new research.

It is hoped that the finding, published in Equine Veterinary Education, will allow vets to better communicate performance-related problems more efficiently with their clients.

In the study, researchers compared the real-time application of the Ridden-Horse-Ethogram with analysis of video recordings of the horses.

The videos were then analysed by a trained assessor and determined if vets, who had been trained, could apply the ethogram in real time in a consistent way and in agreement with an experienced assessor.

Researchers found there was no significant difference between real-time scores and video-based scores for the experienced assessor, confirming the reliability of the system.

“The study confirms that with basic training veterinary observers can use the ridden horse ethogram with consistency as an effective tool to help identify musculoskeletal pain which could reflect lameness or back or sacroiliac pain,” said study leader Dr Sue Dyson, head of clinical orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust.

“The volunteers were unanimously positive about the potential value of the ethogram in helping them to determine the presence of musculoskeletal pain in horses performing poorly or at pre-purchase examinations.”

Dr Dyson and her team are now working with the US evidence-based online learning resource, Equiptopia, to produce a training video to enable vets, owners, riders and trainers to learn how to apply to Ridden-Horse-Ethogram. To find out more email info@equitopiacenter.com

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."