Evaluation of animal welfare parameters in draught horses of Mapuche indigenous communities in the Araucania Region, Chile

Resumen:
The growing concern for a respectful treatment of working animals establishes the importance of animal welfare in Veterinary Medicine. The Region of Araucania has several rural sectors and animal traction is widely spread. In order to evaluate the animal welfare state of the draught horses, 134 individuals were randomly selected to analyze their conformation, body condition, alterations in skin and teguments, existing pathologies and hypometric measurements. The results showed that 80.5% presented pathological findings, where 69.4% were related to the hooves and horseshoes, 19.4% associated with the skin, 46% presented optimal body condition and 44% presented a physical conformation suitable for draught work. It was established that the main problems that affected the animal welfare of the equines of the study are related to foot pathologies, inadequate physical conformation and lack of application of sanitary management protocols.

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