Know How / Foot health

Advice on the prevention and treatment of lameness in beef and dairy cattle and sheep. Find out how to deal with foot health issues including spotting the symptoms of scald, footrot, CODD, digital dermatitis and foul and best practice on foot-trimming, foot-bathing and carrying out mobility scoring.

Advice and tips

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Step-by-step guide to identifying and treating lame cows

Lameness levels have increased from 38 to 40 cases per 100 cows, probably as a result of heat stress over the summer and more time spent standing to cool down.…

FOOT HEALTH

Advice on disinfecting foot trimming knives

Taking the time to clean and disinfect hoof knives between feet makes sense considering hoof knives have been identified as carriers of digital dermatitis treponemes. This is the belief of…

FOOT HEALTH

Advice for quarantining incoming sheep to prevent lameness

Poor quarantine is one of the weakest links in the livestock sector, allowing disease to enter farms. Sheep vet consultant Fiona Lovatt from Flock Health says farmers need to start…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Should you trim sheep's feet to control lameness?

Foot-trimming is one of the first tasks many shepherds learn. However, we now know in most cases foot-trimming will make the problem worse. Vet Emily Gascoigne from Synergy Farm Health…

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Case studies

FOOT HEALTH

How sheep farmer has reduced lameness to just 3%

First-generation farmer Richard Fairbairn has reduced lameness in his sheep flock from 10% to 3% by vaccinating ewes and changing his buying practices. Mr Fairbairn, who farms in partnership with…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How a sheep farmer has reduced lameness by 28%

A Cheshire sheep farmer who has reduced lameness rates to just 2% from a one-time high of 30% says working with a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) at his animal health…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How leg sensors helped get on top of lameness in dairy herd

Rear leg sensors fitted on all cows in a Scottish dairy herd has been key to getting on top of lameness and identifying lying time differences between groups of cows.…

SLURRY AND MANURE MANAGEMENT

How a slurry robot is helping reduce disease on dairy farm

Following the installation of four robot milkers 14 months ago, Devonshire farmer Steve Davey realised the need to find a solution to conventional slurry scraping in cubicle sheds. “After we…

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Insights

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Sheep lameness: The successes and remaining challenges

In 2012, Farmers Weekly launched the Stamp Out Lameness campaign after sheep lameness hit the government's radar when the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) put forward an Opinion on Lameness…

FOOT HEALTH

4 ways to reduce sheep lameness to less than 2% by 2021

UK flocks have already worked hard to reduce lameness to less than 5% by 2016, but the next target set by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) is to reduce…

Research sheds light on tackling CODD

New research findings on contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD) in sheep highlight the importance of isolating bought-in stock and suggest a link to digital dermatitis in cattle. A survey of…

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News

FOOT HEALTH

Vet raises concerns over pressures of supermarket milk contracts

A vet has claimed supermarket pressure could force dairy farmers to use less-stringent cow mobility tests to meet milk contract specifications on lameness. A number of retailers require their producer…

FOOT HEALTH

New qualification for foot-trimmers launched

The Cattle Hoof Care Standards Board and the Royal Agricultural University have launched the first university-recognised qualification for foot-trimming. The five-day course will replace the NPTC level 3 certificate in competence…

FOOT HEALTH

Free computerised lameness detection available soon

A diagnostic computer model identifying specific stages of digital dermatitis (DD) lesions at no cost to the farmer is expected to be available this summer. Scientists at the University of…

FOOT HEALTH

Corkscrew claw prevention method needs research, say experts

A pioneering foot-trimming method which is claimed to prevent corkscrew claws should be scientifically verified before industry-wide adoption, leading lameness experts have warned. The method uses the axial wall as…

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Video

FOOT HEALTH

Advice on how to vaccinate sheep against foot-rot

Vaccination to reduce foot-rot in sheep is just one part of a national five-point plan designed to lessen overall disease pressure from infectious lameness, by improving flock resilience to the…

LIVESTOCK

Hit Squad helps tackle lameness in Carmarthenshire

As a follow-up to Farmers Weekly's campaign, sheep lameness experts Ruth Clements of FAI Farms and vet Joseph Angell from Liverpool University formed the Stamp Out Lameness Hit Squad. They…

LIVESTOCK

Welsh sheep farm looks to Stamp Out Lameness

As a follow up to Farmers Weekly's campaign, a group of specialists teamed up to form the Stamp out Lameness hit squad and visited three farms to highlight key areas…

LIVESTOCK

Video: Detect lameness early with new automatic system

A new fully automated mobility alerting system could help dairy farmers tackle lameness. IceScore Mobility from IceRobotics, automatically and continuously monitors dairy cows and promptly alerts the farmer when an…

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