The Cattle Lameness Academy builds on the experience of its parent company, RAFT Solutions Ltd (www.raftsolutions.co.uk) delivering lameness research. This company specialises in delivering close to market research across the livestock sector. It builds on its team of specialist vets at its parent veterinary practices, Synergy Farm Health and Bishopton Veterinary Group and technicians providing research to GCP standard.
Our team from the Cattle Lameness Academy has been carrying out cutting edge research on cattle lamenes for over a decade. Working in close collaboration with the University of Nottingham, Jon Reader at Synergy Farm Health was the first person to demonstrate the effect that mobility score had on a drop in milk yield around a lameness incident. This work published in the Journal of Dairy Science complimented the other work being done at Nottingham and around the world highlighting the effect of repeat mobility scoring as well as the effect on early detection and prompt treatment on lameness outcomes. This has fuelled further work both at Nottingham and the Royal Veterinary College looking at the effects of foot trimming on both heifers before and after calving. Jon has also carried out foot bath trials and other areas of lameness research.
Laura Randall from the CLA recently published a ground breaking paper investigating the role of body condition score on lameness in dairy cattle. This study, using data collected over 8 years, has helped shed light on the question of whether thin cows become lame or lame cows become thin by showing that low body condition does in fact precede lameness and contributes to its occurrence. Cows with BCS 2 or less were at greatest risk of lameness and as condition increased, cows were less likely to become lame. It was also found that if BCS loss occurs in the first 4 weeks after calving, cows were more likely to suffer repeated lame events in the future. These findings highlight the importance of monitoring and controlling BCS and the need to update the best practice guidance on body condition scoring cows to help in controlling lameness alongside other diseases.
Our team of highly qualified veterinary technicians include professional foot trimmers and clinical veterinary technician able to capture data in the field and contribute to all levels of research.
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