One Health

Equid Assessment, Research and Scoping (EARS): The Development and Implementation of a New Equid Welfare Assessment and Monitoring Tool


Zoe Raw, J. B. Rodrigues, Karen Rickards, Joe Ryding, Stuart L. Norris, Andrew Judge, Laura M. Kubasiewicz, Tamlin Watson, Holly Little, Ben Hart, Rebekah Sullivan, Chris Garrett, Faith A. Burden. 13 February 2020. Equid Assessment, Research and Scoping (EARS): The Development and Implementation of a New Equid Welfare Assessment and Monitoring Tool. Animals. 10:2. 297.

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Publication date: 
13 February 2020
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The assessment of animal welfare poses numerous challenges, yet an emerging approach is the consolidation of existing knowledge into new frameworks which can offer standardised approaches to welfare assessment across a variety of contexts. Multiple tools exist for measuring the welfare of equids, but such tools have typically been developed for specific contexts. There is no ‘one size fits all’ which means that resulting datasets are generally non-comparable, creating a barrier to knowledge-sharing and collaboration between the many organisations working to improve equid welfare around the globe. To address this, we developed the Equid Assessment, Research and Scoping (EARS) tool, which incorporates pre-existing validated welfare assessment methods alongside new welfare indicators to deliver a larger and more comprehensive series of welfare indicators than currently exists, creating a single resource that can be used to assess equid welfare in any context. We field-trialled three welfare assessment protocols within the EARS tool, and applied these to welfare assessment of equids in a variety of contexts across nineteen countries. The EARS tool proved a useful, versatile and rapid method for collecting welfare assessment data and we collected 7464 welfare assessments in a period of fifteen months. We evaluate the EARS tool and provide ideas for future development.

Full article available open access.

Online references

Space-based technology and One Health: delivering an integrated approach


Joe Ryding. 3 September 2019. Space-based technology and One Health: delivering an integrated approach. Presented at The Africa Animal Welfare Conference 2019. (2 September - 4 September 2019). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Date presented: 
Tuesday 3 September 2019

Africa has a median age of 19 and 444 million unique mobile subscribers. In this paper we suggest ways to utilise space-based technology, such as mobile, for positive animal welfare impact within a One Health framework. One Health as a concept is the understanding that “human health and animal health are interdependent and bound to the health of the ecosystems in which they exist” (OIE, 2019). Through using interoperable platforms and tools for collecting, analysing and disseminating information, space-based technology can provide a link between animal welfare, wildlife and environmental conservation that helps increase our understanding of the relationships between these different disciplines, facilitating the One Health approach.

This paper describes how The Donkey Sanctuary uses global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), accessed through a mobile device, to determine the geolocation of animal welfare assessment data. This includes the software, platforms and products used. We concentrate on open-source or low cost solutions that are suitable for resource constrained environments such as those found in many parts of Africa.
We also present methods for analysing multiple data sets linking animal welfare, wildlife and environmental conservation, such as disease outbreaks or wildlife populations combined with remote sensing products (e.g. climate indicators or socioeconomics) to investigate significant relationships and act as a diagnostic aid. We outline our use of space-based technology from collection, publication, uptake, through to impact, including the challenges associated with such an approach.

Space-based technology has the potential to improve our understanding of animal welfare across Africa within a One Health framework. We have shown how the collection of welfare assessment data on mobile devices can be integrated with other space-based technologies to provide insights and actionable results. The rapid change and growth of space-based technology means we need to be agile in our approach to the changing nature of data.

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