The Animal Transportation Association (ATA) has partnered with CHAMP Cargosystems and Arioneo in a ground-breaking study on monitoring horse wellbeing in air travel.
The study, operated through the University of Bologna, aims to monitor horse health – including heart rate, respiration, and temperature. The Memorandum of Understanding will guarantee improved data capture and development of the solutions in support of the 2-year study in collaboration with the University, which aims to show what actions can be taken to improve the wellbeing and safe transportation of animals.
Event horses are regularly transported by air for international competitions. In Spring a handful of top horses are likely to compete at the Land Rover Kentucky Horse Trials whilst the Olympic Games in Tokyo will see a mass influce of horses arriving to compete. When the World Equestrian Games were held in Tryon in 2018, 550 horses were flown in to compete – the largest commercial airlift of horses in the history of equestrian sport.
The study will provide scientific data that will not only help to better understand the shipping related incidents, but also to improve all animal safety and wellbeing considerably.
Earlier this year, CHAMP joined the ATA to exchange and develop a close partnership with experts involved in animal transportation and work on next generation information systems together. The University of Bologna has, in collaboration with members of the ATA, developed an extensive questionnaire and monitored various live transports to gather large amounts of data for a basis of their study.
For the future study, data will be collected and transmitted via Arioneo’s data logger recording horse vital signs. This information is communicated to the pilot and groom on their mobile devices with CHAMP’s data communication capabilities. It will provide an information flow and data that allows the tracking and monitoring real-time the safety and wellbeing of the animal transported. The application – which is currently used for training and monitoring of the wellbeing of the horse in normal on the ground conditions – will allow for the crew and groom to take preventive actions making sure that horses are checked at the right time. A full report of each horse will be available after every flight allowing trainers and owners to learn from the experience and prepare better for the next journeys.
“The Animal Transportation Association is dedicated to the improvement of animal wellbeing within the logistics industry. This study aims to create high standards for animal transportation, as comfort and safety of the precious animals are our number 1 priority,” says Filip Vande Cappelle, President at the Animal Transportation Association. “This unique partnership with CHAMP and Arioneo will ensure that we will not only have the tools to improve animal welfare, but also the data to support it.”
“Animal wellbeing is at the core of such a defining study and technology can play a significant role” says Arnaud Lambert, CEO at CHAMP Cargosystems. “CHAMP’s innovation lab took the challenge head on to fulfill this need to ensure safe and efficient transportation for animals while improving airline safety. We recognize that these joint efforts not only give value to animal welfare, but also the capabilities of our technology in application to delicate or sensitive cargo – whatever it may be.”
“Horse health and safety is paramount to Arioneo,” says Erwan Mellerio, CEO at Arioneo. “The results of this study will have lasting effects on the way airlines and animal transporters look at travel. Our partners’ efforts in pushing the boundaries of the technologies available today will shed new light for best practices, ensure safety for the animals and staff and the functionality of the technologies themselves.”