Reducing lameness in dairy herds – overcoming some barriers

Katharine A Leach, ES Paul, H R Whay, Zoe E Barker, Clare M Maggs, A. K. Sedgwick, David C J Main

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Incomplete detection, high tolerance of lameness, and shortage of time and labour have been identified as barriers to reducing lameness in dairy herds. The effects of farmer participation in a project aimed at reducing lameness in dairy cattle on these factors were investigated. Over the course of the project farmers’ detection of lameness improved and tolerance decreased. On farms entering the study with lameness prevalence below the median of 35%, improved detection was correlated with a reduction in lameness prevalence, but this was not the case for farms entering above the median prevalence. Lowered tolerance of lameness was correlated with reduced lameness regardless of initial prevalence. A greater importance given to lack of time as an initial barrier to progress was correlated with a greater reduction in lameness over the course of the project, suggesting that farmers who recognised limited time as a barrier were able to overcome this to some extent.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2012


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