Lameness prevalence and risk factors in organic and non-organic dairy herds in the United Kingdom

Kenneth M. D. Rutherford*, Fritha M. Langford, Mhairi C. Jack, Lorna Sherwood, Alistair B. Lawrence, Marie J. Haskell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to compare the prevalence of lameness on organic and non-organic dairy farms in the United Kingdom (UK) and to assess which cow and farm factors influenced lameness levels. Forty organic and 40 non-organic dairy farms across the UK were repeatedly visited over a 2.5 year period. On each visit all milking cows were locomotion scored. and information about farm housing, management and husbandry practices was recorded on-farm.

Over the whole study, the mean herd lameness prevalence was 16.2%, 16.3% and 19.3% in the autumn, winter and spring observation periods. respectively. Lameness prevalence was lower (P=0.012) on organic farms compared to non-organic farms. Numerous specific factors were found to significantly influence the prevalence of lameness. This study provided evidence that organic management reduced herd lameness. It supported previous research which suggested that lameness is a serious problem on many farms in the UK and further emphasised the multi-factorial aetiology of lameness problems. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Journal
Volume180
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

Keywords

  • Dairy cow
  • Lameness
  • Organic
  • UK
  • PAPILLOMATOUS DIGITAL DERMATITIS
  • HOLSTEIN COWS
  • MANAGEMENT FACTORS
  • CLINICAL LAMENESS
  • MILK-YIELD
  • CATTLE
  • HEALTH
  • BEHAVIOR
  • LOCOMOTION
  • DISORDERS

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Lameness prevalence and risk factors in organic and non-organic dairy herds in the United Kingdom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this