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Book Chapter

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Portions of veterinarian James Irvine Lupton's book on horse management that deal with the problems of confinement husbandry practices have been selected as a significant historical record of humane concerns that were documented one hundred years ago. While the author's descriptive prose may lack scientific "objectivity," it does express a common sense morality and the subjective and intuitive observations and conclusions of an experienced veterinarian who clearly respects and understands the horse. His words bespeak of a bygone era where the care or husbandry of animals was both an art and a science, a discipline based upon empathy, compassion and factual knowledge. How far indeed have we progressed, ethically and technologically, in improving the husbandry of domesticated animals, such as the horse, since 1884? While conditions may be more sanitary and diseases better understood, prevented, and treated, it is a fact that stabled horses in 1984 are too often kept under comparable conditions of extreme deprivation and show the same behavioral pathologies that Lupton so clearly describes.