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Assessment of body language in the evaluation of animal welfare in ranch horses

Grant number: 16/15374-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2016
Effective date (End): April 28, 2017
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Ecology of Domestic Animals and Ethology
Principal Investigator:Mateus José Rodrigues Paranhos da Costa
Grantee:Pedro Henrique Esteves Trindade
Supervisor: Linda Keeling
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Research place: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (SLU), Sweden  
Associated to the scholarship:15/14421-3 - Developing and validation for welfare indicators of horses used for beef cattle management, BP.MS


The aims of this study are to assess of behavior and in particular facial expressions as animal based welfare indicators in ranch horses; and to evaluate the relationship between body behavior and facial expressions with other welfare indicators, as described in the Fapesp Project n. 2015/14421-3. Fourteen crossbred ranch horses were previously video-recorded during their working routine. Footages of body (FB) and face (FF) of each horse, lasting 5min each, were gathered in two moments: before starting the daily work and in the end of the work day. Heart and respiratory rates were recorded and blood samples were collected to analyze serum cortisol levels, lactate, creatine kinase, amino aspartate transferase, total protein and differential white blood cells count. The facial expression assessment will be performed on two video clips selected from different part parts of the 5 minute footage, and on the still images extracted from the FF videos according to the presence or the absence of each specific feature of the facial expression for pain behavior. The FB footages will be used for body expression assessment, considering the nonspecific behavior indicators and the specific behavior indicators for limb and foot pain in horses. Wilcoxon test or other appropriate statistics will be conducted to determine differences in behavior shown before and after work. Tests for comparing related samples will be performed to determine differences in the variables before and after work. Spearman correlation coefficients will be calculated to investigate the relationship between the body and facial expressions with other animal welfare indicators (physiological parameters). (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ESTEVES TRINDADE, PEDRO HENRIQUE; FERRAZ, GUILHERME DE CAMARGO; PEREIRA LIMA, MARIA LUCIA; NEGRAO, JOAO ALBERTO; PARANHOS DA COSTA, MATEUS J. R.. Eye Surface Temperature as a Potential Indicator of Physical Fitness in Ranch Horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, v. 75, p. 1-8, . (15/14421-3, 16/15374-1)
ESTEVES TRINDADE, PEDRO HENRIQUE; HARTMANN, ELKE; KEELING, LINDA J.; ANDERSEN, PIA HAUBRO; FERRAZ, GUILHERME DE CAMARGO; RODRIGUES PARANHOS DA COSTA, MATEUS JOSE. Effect of work on body language of ranch horses in Brazil. PLoS One, v. 15, n. 1, . (15/26738-1, 16/15374-1, 15/14421-3)

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