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We used an objective locomotion scoring system to

Risk factors in Germany and the Netherlands

20 farms in Germany and 20 farms in The Netherlands were visited between February 2003 and July 2004. On each visit, all cows were locomotion scored and management and environmental data were recorded. The mean locomotion score was calculated for each farm and multivariable linear regression models for risk factors were constructed for each country.

We found that the risk factors for increased locomotion score were different in Germany and The Netherlands in this study. Many different aspects of management were associated with an increased locomotion score.

Intervention studies are required to formalise management plans to reduce the incidence of abnormal locomotion of dairy cows.

A poster of this work was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, 30th March - 1st April 2005, Nairn, Inverness, Scotland.
View poster (PDF File PDF file, 277KB)

Housing risk factors in the UK

53 farms in England and Wales were visited 4 times in 2003 and 2004. All cows were locomotion scored and scored for hock damage. In addition, hoof lesions were recorded by the farmer at trimming and environmental and management data were recorded. Linear models were produced for the locomotion score data and Poisson models were constructed for hoof lesion rates.

Exposure to cubicles with sawdust on mats was associated with increased locomotion scores in both milking and dry cows. Automatic scraping of milkers' accommodation was associated with increased locomotion scores when compared with manual scraping by tractor. However, the risk of sole ulcer and digital dermatitis was decreased with the use of automatic scrapers.

Further studies will investigate the relationship between herd size and the risk factors identified.

A poster of this work was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, 30th March - 1st April 2005, Nairn, Inverness, Scotland.
View poster (PDF File PDF file, 271KB)