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Animals : an open access journal from MDPI
Volume 13 | Issue 10 (May 2023)

Human Injuries Associated with the Transport of Horses by Road.

Animals (Basel). May 2023;13(10):.
Christopher B Riley1, Barbara Padalino2, Chris W Rogers3, Kirrilly R Thompson4
1 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.; 2 Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Alimentari, Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna, Viale Fanin 50, 40126 Bologna, Italy.; 3 School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.; 4 School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW 2300, Australia.


There is an increased understanding of shared human-animal risk in terms of "one welfare", whereby when animals are at risk, so are people, so preventing injury to one species may also prevent injury to the other. Because transport-related injuries to horses are common, the authors considered this paradigm to study road equine transport-related injuries to humans in New Zealand. The aim was to determine their frequency and associated factors by distributing a survey to horse industry participants through industry organisations asking about their horse activities, road transport experiences, and any related self-injury. There were 112/1067 (10.5%) handlers injured while preparing (13/112), loading (39/112), traveling (6/112), or unloading (33/112). Of these, 40% had multiple injury types, and 33% had several body regions affected. Hand injuries were most common (46%), followed by the foot (25%), arm (17%), and head or face (15%). Median recovery time was 7 days. Injuries were associated with the responder's industry educational background, years of driving experience, and reporting a horse injured during road transport in the past two years. Wearing helmets and gloves, and adopting strategies designed to eliminate equine injuries associated with the road transport of horses to reduce the risk of injury to their handlers are recommended.

equine; horse; human; injury; one welfare; risk; road; transport; transportation;

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