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Lameness Management

Cattle lameness is one of the most significant health and welfare issues affecting the UK herd today

Much time and profit is lost each year, with the average lameness case costing nearly £350.00.


Most of this cost is ‘hidden’, and is due to reduced fertility, increased culling and reduced yield.


Healthy Feet Programme


Scarsdale Vets offers the AHDB Healthy Feet Programme, which aims to help you reduce the number of lame cows on your farm. A trained ‘Mobility Mentor’ will work with you to tackle lameness.

The programme includes the following:

Three initial visits by your Mobility Mentor to:

  • Assess a proportion of your herd’s feet, to discuss diseases and foot conditions and to review your foot trimming process.
  • Undertake a thorough risk assessment of the farm and its current lameness management.
  • On-farm training for you and your team
  • At least 4 mobility scoring visits during the year by a trained scorer
  • On-farm 6 – and 12-month reviews

Produce an action plan tailored to your farm, incorporating the following aspects of healthy feet:

  • Low infection pressure
  • Good horn quality and hoof shape
  • Low forces on the feet (good cow comfort and cow flow)
  • Early detection and prompt, effective treatment of lame cows

Foot Trimming

In the dairy industry alone, it is estimated that £90 million per year is lost as a result of direct and indirect costs of lameness. A significant contributing factor to this can be hooves not kept in adequate condition.

For routine foot trimming, we recommend our clients use a fully licensed trimmer. Professional foot trimmers are skilled, efficient and will bring their own crush and equipment. For a list of fully licensed trimmers, see the NACFT (National Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers) website.

Scarsdale Vets will advise on any aspects of foot care and will attend to any feet requiring surgical veterinary treatment.

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