The chapter aims to reveal the importance of indicators in defining equine welfare and their relationship with the immune system and subsequent resistance to diseases. The sharp economic changes after the World War II changed the role played by horses in the society. The improvement of modern breeds, their involvement in different equestrian activities, the development of sports horse shows and industry, the increase of the economic value of the individuals on the basis of their performances, as well as the emergence of modern “natural” training theories implicitly led, in developed countries, to a change of public attitude toward this animal. According to World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) principles, animal welfare and animal health are closely linked. The correlated use of the welfare assessment by direct indicators with the investigation of the immune status proved to be a powerful tool in the interdisciplinary research on how the horses cope with different management conditions and the health outcome of different raising technologies. The dimensions of this approach have not been exhausted by far in this study which is merely a first step taken in Romania to a better understanding on protection and use of these animals.
Part of the book: Animal Welfare