21 November 1997

GOOD STAFF MEAN LESS LAMENESS

KNOWLEDGE, training and awareness of stockmen are closely related to the prevalence of lameness, and probably other health related disorders.

The better the knowledge of a herdsmen the fewer lameness cases will be seen on farm, according to Liverpool University vet schools Bob Ward.

He is sure the same rule applies to mastitis, cell counts and other conditions.

In a study on lameness and husbandry, the cases recorded by the producer were compared with identification of pictures, and the training they had received. And the number of lame cases reported by the producer on the day surveyed was compared with the actual incidence found by researchers, says Dr Ward.

Results showed that those producers with less cases were more aware of lameness. Producers who underestimated the lameness cases on the day researchers visited had poorer knowledge and training.

"We need to develop a system to measure the performance of stockmen.

"People directly involved with stock have a strong effect on lameness incidence." Encouragement and advice could change practices and improve performance, he adds. &#42

A greater awarness of lameness will reduce incidence… Bob Ward.