Equine genetics, behaviour and welfare

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
AGR/17 AGR/19
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide the student with the basic knowledge about hereditary diseases of horses as well as their behaviour and welfare. The student will acquire skills regarding the genetic selection in Equidae.

The student will acquire specific skills on the genetic selection programs in the main breeds bred in Italy, with reference to their specific aptitudes and to the different selection objectives. The basic principles of genetics related to coat colour and hereditary diseases will also be treated also in the context of the reproductive schemes for their management in the populations.

Grounded on principles of applied ethology, the course will deal the behaviour of free-living horses as a basis for understanding the ways in which management and training influence the behavioural responses of the domestic horse. Particular attention will be paid to human-animal communication, behavioural problems and methods to prevent or treat them. Another learning objective is to provide the skills necessary to assess if the management of equines meets their specific welfare needs.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have to prove that they have achieved:
Knowledge of selection schemes in Equidae
Critical and applicative capacity towards the choice of reproducers, and their use in the population according to the selection objective.
Critical and applicative ability to manage genetically transmitted diseases in horses and donkeys.
Knowledge and understanding: the student must know and understand the main behavioural features of horses and donkeys and the methods to assess their welfare;
Applying knowledge and understanding: the student must be able to apply the knowledge acquired by critically discussing the observed behaviours and propose meaningful solutions to address specific welfare issues;
Making judgements: the student must be able to study in a critical and proactive way, analysing the teaching material provided by the teacher and the recommended texts. The practical lessons will specifically help to develop critical and judgemental skills on behavioural and welfare issues;
Communication: the student is expected to present the acquired knowledge in a clear and orderly way, using the appropriate specific terminology concerning equine behaviour. The group work will contribute to the development of the student's ability to correctly communicate/transmit what has been learned;
Life-long learning: at the end of the course, which integrates theoretical and practical training, students will acquire the ability to deal more critically and autonomously with the management of equine breeding, even in rapidly changing contexts other than those presented during the course.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Course currently not available
AGR/19 - ANIMAL SCIENCE - University credits: 0
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours