It is hoped that the results of the research, by academics at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences, will contribute to the health, safety and welfare of horses in the UK.

Horses and ponies are popular companion animals and although numbers are not exact, a 2004 survey by DEFRA and the British Horse Industry Confederation estimated there were somewhere between 600,000 and 1 million in the UK at the time.

Although horses working lives, the period when they can be ridden or driven can be relatively short. Horses can live well into their thirties and many can live for much longer.

Maxine Heijtel, the student who is leading the project, said: "We are keen to hear from all horse owners over 18 years of age. We want to know how they acquire, keep and sell their horse(s) in order to improve the health and welfare of Britain's equines."

By completing the survey, participants will also have the opportunity to win a £100 tack shop voucher.

To complete the online survey, entitled "Movement of horses and ponies between owners in Great Britain" go to http://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/awb/horseowners

 

(Source: vetsonline.com)