Welfare-in-Action Under-Weight

WEIGHT – UNDER-WEIGHT

Forward by Sue Horseman

Under-weight horses can be found around the world and this represents a welfare concern. Not only are under-weight horses likely to be experiencing hunger, a negative emotional state, they may also be experiencing health problems either as a result of, or as a cause of, their sub-optimal weight.

Horses may become underweight when they are provided insufficient nutrition to meet their physiological needs. This may be because they are not fed enough food or because the food they are fed is not sufficient in nutritional value to support them. In some cases, there may be an imbalance between the food provided and the work the horse is expected to do. Low weight may occur because of underlying issues including high worm burdens and is also a natural part of the aging process.

Concordia supports the promotion of evidence-based feeding practices to ensure that both the nutritional and behavioural needs of all horses are met. Concordia recognises that poor equine nutrition may come because of complex owner socio-economic factors and therefore seek to understand these, working alongside other organisations to facilitate change.

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