KAY, R. and HALL, C.A., 2009. The use of a mirror reduces isolation stress in horses being transported by trailer. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 116, pp. 237-243.
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Horse trailers are a common form of transportation for horses and ponies and often require the animal to travel alone or with a single companion. The current study investigated the effect of transporting horses alone, in company or with an acrylic safety mirror (measuring 81 x 61.5 cm) that provided surrogate companionship. The behavioural and physiological responses of twelve mature horses during a 30-minute journey by trailer under the three treatments were compared. Behaviour (vocalisation, eating, head-tossing, pawing, and head turning) was recorded. In order to assess circulatory changes that occur as part of the response to transport, heart rate (HR), rectal (Tr) and ear-pinna (Tp) temperatures were recorded. When travelling with a live companion significantly less time was spent vocalising (p<0.001), head turning (p<0.001), head-tossing (p<0.01) and pawing (p<0.01); eating behaviour increased (p<0.05). Physiological responses (increases in HR and Tr and decreases in Tp) were also significantly reduced when travelling with a live companion (p<0.01). Travelling with the mirror did not significantly affect physiological responses compared with travelling alone, but the rise in Tr and fall in Tp was reduced (p=0.052 and p=0.051 respectively) and can be considered a trend. When travelling with a mirror significantly less time was spent turning the head (p<0.01), vocalising (p<0.05) and head tossing (p<0.05); eating behaviour increased (p<0.05).
|Item Type:||Journal article|
|Publication Title:||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Creators:||Kay, R. and Hall, C.A.|
|Publisher:||Elsevier (not including Cell Press)|
|Divisions:||Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences|
|Depositing User:||EPrints Services|
|Date Added:||09 Oct 2015 10:23|
|Last Modified:||19 Oct 2015 14:31|
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