Animal welfare depends on caretakers' handling and management skills. The study aimed at gaining information on camel caretakers' backgrounds, their perceptions of welfare and management practices and at investigating associations with camel health and behavioural problems. The study was conducted at a camel market in Qatar and 49 caretakers were interviewed (29 questions). Caretakers were male, mainly from Sudan (91.7%; P<0.001), and had mainly learned camel management from family members (81.6%; P<0.001). Camels were mainly from Qatar, reared for milk, breeding or meat. The majority of the caretakers under 30 years took care of camels reared as breeding animals or for milk production (n=12, 75.0%), while the caretakers over 40 years took care of camels for dual-purposes (n=7, 46.7%; P<0.05) or meat (n=4, 26.7%). Camels received rationed feed and water (87.6%, 53.1%, P<0.001), and were dewormed regularly (96.8%, P<0.001) but not vaccinated (72.9%; P<0.001). Respondents experienced at least one camel with a behavioural (45.8%) and a health (87.8%) problem and associations between management practices and those problems were found. Behavioural problems were associated with the number of health problems, suggesting that sick camels tended to show behavioural modifications. Caretakers ranked their ability to recognise a camel in distress/pain as high, reporting that the first sign was a change in behaviour. The caretakers' understanding of animal welfare was, however, low, missing the overall meaning of the concept; most caretakers defined animal welfare according to only one (52.2%) welfare principle. Overall, early and appropriate treatment of camels with health and behavioural problems, an increased presence of veterinarians at camel farms, and education on camel behaviour and welfare are recommended.

Camel welfare: survey on camel caretakers' perspectives

Menchetti, Laura;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Animal welfare depends on caretakers' handling and management skills. The study aimed at gaining information on camel caretakers' backgrounds, their perceptions of welfare and management practices and at investigating associations with camel health and behavioural problems. The study was conducted at a camel market in Qatar and 49 caretakers were interviewed (29 questions). Caretakers were male, mainly from Sudan (91.7%; P<0.001), and had mainly learned camel management from family members (81.6%; P<0.001). Camels were mainly from Qatar, reared for milk, breeding or meat. The majority of the caretakers under 30 years took care of camels reared as breeding animals or for milk production (n=12, 75.0%), while the caretakers over 40 years took care of camels for dual-purposes (n=7, 46.7%; P<0.05) or meat (n=4, 26.7%). Camels received rationed feed and water (87.6%, 53.1%, P<0.001), and were dewormed regularly (96.8%, P<0.001) but not vaccinated (72.9%; P<0.001). Respondents experienced at least one camel with a behavioural (45.8%) and a health (87.8%) problem and associations between management practices and those problems were found. Behavioural problems were associated with the number of health problems, suggesting that sick camels tended to show behavioural modifications. Caretakers ranked their ability to recognise a camel in distress/pain as high, reporting that the first sign was a change in behaviour. The caretakers' understanding of animal welfare was, however, low, missing the overall meaning of the concept; most caretakers defined animal welfare according to only one (52.2%) welfare principle. Overall, early and appropriate treatment of camels with health and behavioural problems, an increased presence of veterinarians at camel farms, and education on camel behaviour and welfare are recommended.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/469059
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