5th December 2005
NEW RESEARCH INTO HORSE BEHAVIOUR
in animal behaviour at the
Jonathan Cooper of the Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare Research Group at
The fellowship brings funding from the Higher Education Funding Council to help academics develop ideas into commercial products and forge closer links with industry.
Dr Cooper will now be able to employ a research technician to support projects in equine behaviour and welfare.
The projects will provide a better understanding of horses' behavioural and physiological responses to their environment, assess their environmental requirements and identify changes to the horses' environment that improve their quality of life.
will build on established research into equine behaviour and welfare conducted
by Dr Cooper and colleagues at the
Up to now researchers have focused on changes to the horses’ feeding patterns and social environment. For example, having discovered that providing contact with other horses reduces repetitive, stereotypic activities such as weaving in horses, researchers then found that mirrors installed in stables have a similar effect.
Further studies verified the long-term positive effects of providing mirrors for weaving horses and an equine mirror is now commercially available.
“We anticipate that the fellowship awarded to Dr Cooper will enable us to test the commercial viability of other means of enriching the lives of stabled horses,” said a university spokesman.
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