Management methods to improve the welfare of horses used in research

Lab Anim (NY). 2015 Sep;44(9):350-8. doi: 10.1038/laban.741.


Horses and ponies are used for experimental research in a variety of fields, but there is little published scientific literature that describes current or evidence-based recommendations for keeping and managing these species for research purposes. Equine species require particular environmental conditions and allowances to accommodate their behavior and physiology. Here the authors review studies and common practices for ambient facility conditions; provision of bedding, food and water; opportunities for exercise and environmental enrichment; allocation of facility spaces and resources; and design and management of different stabling systems for horses and ponies in research. Careful consideration of these factors can help to improve the welfare of equine subjects in research and to ensure high-quality experimental data.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry / methods*
  • Animal Welfare*
  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research / standards
  • Horses / physiology*
  • Housing, Animal*