A new android app to assess horse welfare has been developed by researchers in Italy.
Users are able to input data on a horse’s behaviour, condition and how they are kept.
The AWINHorse app was created as part of the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) project, which aims to improve animal welfare by developing, integrating and disseminating information.
It is the first tool developed to assess welfare of horses at home, enabling owners, veterinarians, and animal welfare officers to collect, store and download welfare indicators according to the AWIN welfare assessment protocol.
The initial screening process is quick and easy, and includes the noting of the several aspects of the horse’s behaviour, any injuries or swelling, water supply, feed and so on.
The app generates an immediate output, giving a visual feedback about the welfare of assessed horses, highlighting positive conditions and enabling comparison with a reference population through a graph.
H&H consultant vet Karen Coumbe said: “Anything that promotes awareness of condition and making people attentive to any weight gain in their horses has to be good, but it may not be so ideal to be reliant on it for medical conditions.
“In these cases it is often better to talk to your own vet.”
The app was developed by researchers of the University of Milan and funded by the EU VIII framework programme.
It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.