LAMECOW at the University of Warwick: A study of lameness in dairy cattle

J. R. Amory, Z. E. Barker, J. L. Wright, S. A. Mason, R. W. Blowey, L. E. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper describes some of the work carried out by the University of Warwick as part of the EU project LAMECOW. A study was undertaken on 49 dairy farms in England and Wales to determine risk factors for impaired locomotion measured using a 3 point score based on back posture. Factors associated with increased mean locomotion score (i.e. poor locomotion) included variables related to management of dry cows and heifers, housing design, diet and hoof trimming. An intervention study monitored the uptake and success of standardised recommendations given by a veterinarian to 25 treatment farms compared with 24 control farms. Farmers were prepared to adopt only some of the recommendations made, typically those with least cost. At the end of a one year study there was a reduction in lame cattle (score 3) on treatment farms and a net reduction in sole ulcers compared with control farms. A multivariable statistical analysis of milk recording data and hoof lesion incidence data from 30 farms indicated that there were significant milk losses associated with the occurrence of sole ulcer and white line disease, but not associated with digital dermatitis. These clarify earlier findings on which lesions are associated with reduced milk yield. We conclude that an important part of reducing lameness is in improving the uptake of recommendations for best practice management that would be aided by further quantification of economic cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-125
Number of pages3
JournalCattle Practice
Volume14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

Keywords

  • Dairy cows
  • Intervention study
  • LAMECOW
  • Lameness
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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