Assessment of pack animal welfare in and around Bareilly city of India
Aim: To assess the welfare of pack animal: Pony, Horse, Mule and Donkey in and around Bareilly city. Materials and Methods: The present study was carried out in Bareilly city and Izatnagar area of Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2009. Representative sample of 100 pack animal owners were selected to get the information regarding various social, personal and economic attributes of the pack animal. Further during interviewing different health and behavior pattern of animals was
... of animals was keenly examined. Analysis has been done as per standard procedures. Results: Most of the pack animal owners (98%) were aware of the freedom from hunger and thirst. Majority of respondents (96, 93, 81 & 85 percent) were aware of freedom from injury and disease, pain and discomfort, to express normal behavior and adequate space and freedom from fear and distress. Respondents (85%) believed that they themselves were responsible for the welfare of the animals. Most of the owners (48.8%) employed their animals for work for 9-10 hrs with rest (96.5%) in between work and most (88.3%) indulged into beating to compel the animals to work. All pregnant animals were put to work in the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Upon physical examination, pack animals showed abnormality in eyes (49%), abnormality in gait (40%) and limb deformity (39%). Most animals (75%) had tether lesions and 34 percent animals avoided or were aggressive to observer. Majority (74.1%) of the owners housed their animals in a part of their own residence with improper drainage and cleaning. Most of the owners (82%) consulted Veterinary doctors for treatment and believed in allopathic medicine (57%). Vaccination was not carried out on most (96%) of the animals. All the animals were feed green fodder but practice of supplementation of minerals to animals was only among 11 percent owners. Conclusions: Present findings provide baseline information on welfare activities followed by pack animal owners and status of pack animals in regards to animal welfare. A more detailed in-depth study is needed regarding welfare issues in all varied pack animals, designing of scientific efficient carts, working hours and special requirements related to feed and other managemental practices for pack and draught animals. Rules and Regulations advocated by Government Act can be used to enforce welfare laws of the animals but thrust should be more in regard to development of awareness among owners for animal welfare.