Working animals in the mountains

  • In October 2016 the Portuguese Association for Animal Traction APTRAN together with the European working horse network FECTU organized a symposium on THE XXI CENTURY MOUNTAINS:SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF MOUNTAINOUS AREAS BASED ON ANIMAL TRACTION in Bragança (Portugal) during the Ist INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN MOUNTAIN REGIONS. The following abstracts of the symposium underline the relevance of working animals worldwide and the important role they continue to play today. After an overview of the renaissance of working horses in Europe in the last decades different aspects of the possible use and further development of animal traction are presented, based on experiences in Portugal, Switzerland and Italy and dealing with societal, economical, environmental and agrotechnical issues.

OIE - Welfare of Working Equids

  • OIE-WORLD ORGANISATION FOR ANIMAL HEALTH Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapter 7.12- Welfare of Working Equids In many countries, working equids, used for transport and traction, contribute directly and indirectly to households' livelihoods and benefit communities as a whole. Working equids may be of direct or indirect use in production and commercial activities. Specifically, they contribute to agricultural production and food security by transporting, for instance, water and fodder for other livestock, firewood and other daily needs to the homestead and agricultural products to the market. They provide draught power for agricultural work and transport. They may supply manure, milk, meat and hides for household use or income. The welfare of these working equids is often poor because their owners lack sufficient resources to meet their needs or have insufficient knowledge of the appropriate care of equids. Certain working contexts, such as working in construction industries or in harsh environments, may present a particular risk to their welfare.

Hand labor, tractor labor and horse labor: a question of power and scale

  • "To understand why we farm the way we do today it is important to look back to where our agriculture began and how it changed. From there onward we can look at the question: Why do we farm or why would we want to farm with live horse power in small scale vegetable farming? When we look at hand labor, tractor labor and horse labor as three different power sources,where do horses fit in? From the historical perspective to a present day perspective we can shine new light on having (a) 'four legged employee(s)'."
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