This 2-day course covers the theoretical and practical elements of herd lameness control.
It is ideal for vets with an interest in healthy feet management. It is suitable for those studying for higher qualifications as well as those wanting a practical course in herd level lameness. This course is also the gateway to become a registered Mobility Mentor to deliver the AHDB Healthy Feet Programme.
Topics covered include:
- measuring lameness,
- diseases of the feet,
- recent developments in understanding aetiology and epidemiology of lameness,
- successful, evidence-based approaches to lameness reduction,
- practical elements of engaging with farmers and ensuring that the appropriate actions are followed through.
- A farm visit is included in order to put theory into practice and work through some of the real-life challenges of developing a plan.
- The course is supported by a significant amount of online material, including high quality slide images and videos. This will allow delegates to add depth to their understanding and help with the practical application of their knowledge.
Key Learning Outcomes
At the end of the training, delegates will:
- understand the importance of lameness in the dairy industry and the role of the vet in planned healthy feet management,
- have an in-depth knowledge of the most up to date research on lameness aetiology, risk factors and control points,
- understand the principles of the AHDB Healthy Feet Programme,
- develop enthusiasm and confidence to deliver the Healthy Feet Programme to farmers,
- learn an effective approach to herd lameness investigation and control, including assessment of four key areas: infection pressure; hoof and horn quality; forces on feet and early detection, prompt effective treatment (EDPET),
- learn new advisory and coaching skills to help farmers to develop and implement their plan.
The AHDB Healthy Feet Programme
The AHDB Healthy Feet Programme was first launched in 2011. It followed extensive research at Bristol University (The Healthy Feet Project) in how to successfully help farmers reduce their lameness. The HFP is delivered by Mobility Mentors who are specially trained in herd lameness control and advisory skills.
Since then, AHDB-funded research has further enhanced our understanding of lameness reduction. The HFP has also been extensively “road tested”, demonstrating that it works.
Now entering its second phase, a refreshed HFP offers better tools, clearer materials and new Mobility Mentor training.
Becoming a Mobility Mentor
This course will qualify delegates to apply to become a Mobility Mentor in order to deliver the AHDB Healthy Feet Programme. An online register is kept of Mobility Mentors and these are the only people who are licensed to deliver the Healthy Feet Programme.
A strong network of Mobility Mentors, supported by AHDB, is envisaged as an important plank of the UK’s drive to reduce lameness in dairy cattle. As champions of lameness reduction thoughout the UK, farmers will be signposted towards these individuals to help them reduce lameness.
The Course Tutors
Nick Bell and Owen Atkinson have many years’ experience between them in herd lameness control. They were instrumental in developing the original HFP and are recognised nationally and internationally for their expertise in this area. They are both experienced trainers and their workshops are engaging, popular and fun.