Scientific consultancy and research collaboration on request.
Run as a collaboration between government bodies, educational institutions, and the leading equestrian organizations in Finland, the project Indicators for Assessing Horse Welfare is developing a set of criteria for auditing stables and companies in the horse industry. The aim is to promote reliable assessment of the well-being of horses.
To ensure the scientific reliability of the approach, the project started with an extensive review of scientific literature, which was procured as a consultancy service from Arador Health Science in 2022.
Understanding animals' body language and facial expressions is paramount for caretakers' ability to assess their well-being and detect problems - whether at zoos, at home, or on farms. People vary greatly in this skill. So far, there has been very little research on what causes these differences. A better understanding of the factors leading to good emotion-recognition skills would help design education for a better understanding of animals, from kindergarten to vocational training.
That is why Arador Health Science initiated a research project into the factors affecting people's ability to recognize and understand the emotions behind animals' facial expressions and body language. The project, spanning the years 2021 to 2024, is run in collaboration with the Emotion Science research group of the University of Helsinki. The main part of the research is carried out at Helsinki Zoo, and the project is funded by Kone Foundation.