one health

Equid Assessment, Research and Scoping (EARS): the development and implementation of a new equid welfare assessment and monitoring tool

The assessment of animal welfare poses numerous challenges, yet an emerging approach is the consolidation of existing knowledge into new frameworks which can offer standardised approaches to welfare assessment across a variety of contexts. Multiple tools exist for measuring the welfare of equids, but such tools have typically been developed for specific contexts. There is no ‘one size fits all’ which means that resulting datasets are generally non-comparable, creating a barrier to knowledge-sharing and collaboration between the many organisations working to improve equid welfare around the globe. To address this, we developed the Equid Assessment, Research and Scoping (EARS) tool, which incorporates pre-existing validated welfare assessment methods alongside new welfare indicators to deliver a larger and more comprehensive series of welfare indicators than currently exists, creating a single resource that can be used to assess equid welfare in any context. We field-trialled three welfare assessment protocols within the EARS tool, and applied these to welfare assessment of equids in a variety of contexts across nineteen countries. The EARS tool proved a useful, versatile and rapid method for collecting welfare assessment data and we collected 7464 welfare assessments in a period of fifteen months. We evaluate the EARS tool and provide ideas for future development.

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Space-based technology and One Health: delivering an integrated approach

Joe Ryding
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Africa has a median age of 19 and 444 million unique mobile subscribers. In this paper we suggest ways to utilise space-based technology, such as mobile, for positive animal welfare impact within a One Health framework. One Health as a concept is the understanding that “human health and animal health are interdependent and bound to the health of the ecosystems in which they exist” (OIE, 2019). Through using interoperable platforms and tools for collecting, analysing and disseminating information, space-based technology can provide a link between animal welfare, wildlife and environmental conservation that helps increase our understanding of the relationships between these different disciplines, facilitating the One Health approach.

This paper describes how The Donkey Sanctuary uses global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), accessed through a mobile device, to determine the geolocation of animal welfare assessment data. This includes the software, platforms and products used. We concentrate on open-source or low cost solutions that are suitable for resource constrained environments such as those found in many parts of Africa.

We also present methods for analysing multiple data sets linking animal welfare, wildlife and environmental conservation, such as disease outbreaks or wildlife populations combined with remote sensing products (e.g. climate indicators or socioeconomics) to investigate significant relationships and act as a diagnostic aid. We outline our use of space-based technology from collection, publication, uptake, through to impact, including the challenges associated with such an approach.

Space-based technology has the potential to improve our understanding of animal welfare across Africa within a One Health framework. We have shown how the collection of welfare assessment data on mobile devices can be integrated with other space-based technologies to provide insights and actionable results. The rapid change and growth of space-based technology means we need to be agile in our approach to the changing nature of data.

Mapping the issues of Indian donkey and mule population and identify the potential intervention strategies and partners


It is evident from the literature that working equines contribute much to the sustainable development goals through supporting the livelihood of poorest families worldwide. They are considered source of employment in various sectors including agriculture, construction, tourism and mining sector. However, the contribution in enhancing the livelihood of poor and welfare issues especially in the case of donkeys and mules are under-acknowledged and neglected in the policies and development programmes due to lack of information and data to support their contribution. Efforts by various animal welfare organisations to improve the welfare of working equines have not achieved significant positive changes. There is need for one welfare approach where welfare of animals and human to be considered interlinked to each other, so change in human welfare will bring positive change in animal welfare and improved animal welfare will increase the productivity and household income.


The study will follow desktop review, qualitative and quantitative data collection methods across the regions where donkey and mule populations are relatively higher.


This study is aimed to map the issues of Indian donkey and mule population and their dependents in the broader developmental context to identify the potential institutional innovations to bring positive changes in animal and human welfare.


1) To identify the donkey and mule population, trend and their usage patterns in rural, urban and industrial development context in different regions of India. 2) To specify the communities who own the donkey and mule population in different regions of the country. Evaluate the human development indicators associated with these communities specific to different regions. 3) To identify the key challenges and opportunities that impact the welfare of human and equine populations (one health approach) in the areas where donkey and mule populations are high.

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