As the only remaining breed of horse with its origins in Switzerland, the Franches-Montagnes is particularly important. Agroscope’s Swiss National Stud has genetically diverse breeding stallions, and offers their services at covering stations throughout Switzerland. Moreover, research into the management of small populations not only promotes species diversity, but also the marketability of the horses. The methods thus developed can also be used for other livestock.
Horsekeeping represents an opportunity for the agricultural sector: it contributes to sustainable rural development and offers an attractive source of income. Modern, animal-friendly housing systems and fittings, as developed and tested by Agroscope, are essential for this activity.
The proper understanding of horse behaviour can prevent considerable animal suffering as well as poor training outcomes and safety risks, thus strengthening the horsekeeping sector in agriculture. Agroscope researches equine behaviour, promotes the ethical, safe handling of horses, and supports successful horse use.