Hello and welcome back. Let's start with an overview of the size of the equine population worldwide. Today, there are approximately 58 million horses on the planet, with an additional 43 million donkeys and 10 million mules. The United States has the most horses with an estimated 9 million. Europe and Mexico each have an estimated 6 million. Russia, China, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Kazakhstan are other countries with over one million horses. With a population that large, it's no surprise that the public concern for equine welfare is at an all time high. At the same time, people are much less familiar with the horse than they were a century ago. This gap in knowledge about the horse is due in part to the drastic change in the role of the horse in society over the past 100 years, and the lack of accessibility to horses for the majority of the public. Let's look at how that role has changed in the United States. In 1867, for example, there were about 31 million humans and eight million horses living in the United States. That's four people to every horse. Horses were still a major form of transportation, agriculture, and a means for moving goods. That ratio of four to one had not changed by 1920, but now there were 25 million horses and just over 100 million people. But over the next 40 years, things changed dramatically. By 1960, the horse population in the United States had decreased to just three million horses and humans now numbered nearly 180 million. The advent of modern transportation greatly reduced the human need for horses, and by 1960, there were now 64 people to every horse in the United States. Today, however, we're seeing a resurgence in interest in horses for sport and companionship. With over nine million horses and over 300 million humans in the United States today, the ratio has been lowered to 34 humans to every horse. But even with renewed interest, most of us today do not have the knowledge and familiarity with horses that the average citizen in the late 19th century would have had. Lack of education and lack of horsemanship have contributed to many of the issues plaguing the performance horse industry today, and raised concerns about the welfare of the horses involved in sport, recreation, and commerce. That's where the Five Freedoms come in. Fifty years ago, a British animal welfare researcher named Ruth Harrison wrote Animal Machines, which described intensive livestock and poultry farming practices that many considered cruel. The public outcry over the book prompted the British government to appoint a committee to look into the welfare of farm animals. In 1965, the committee, chaired by Professor Roger Brambell, authored an 85 page report later referred to as the ''Brambell Report''. The report stated that animals should have certain basic freedoms that have come to be known as the Brambells Five Freedoms. By 1979, the Five Freedoms were codified to include the physical and mental well-being of all animals and were adopted by many international welfare agencies, including the World Organization for Animal Health and the ASPCA in the US. The Five Freedoms include: freedom from hunger and thirst, which means ready access to fresh water and a healthful diet; freedom from discomfort, which means providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area; freedom from pain, injury, or disease, through prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment; freedom to express normal behavior, which means providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal's own kind; freedom from fear and distress by ensuring that conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering. Today, animal welfare is considered a science and the Five Freedoms form the basis of our responsibilities as owners, caregivers, and veterinarians. At the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the Center for Animal Welfare develops guidelines for horses, dairy stock, and other animals. In this course on equine welfare and management, the Five Freedoms will be the centerpiece of our learning. The course has been developed by experts from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the International Animal Welfare Training Institute, and the Center for Equine Health. And we'll explore how we can apply the Five Freedoms to equines at work, in the wild, and in the international horse community. We're thankful that you've decided to join us in this course, and we look forward to seeing you over the next few weeks. Let's start with the first freedom, freedom from hunger and thirst.