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Tackle lameness one step at a time
Published 31 August 11
DairyCo is launching its new Healthy Feet Programme at this year's Dairy Event and Livestock Show. The programme aims to help dairy farmers reduce incidence of lameness on a more permanent basis. What's more, DairyCo will be giving farmers who visit the stand a Healthy Feet goody bag to help them get started.
"Lameness can cost an average of £180 per case," says DairyCo product manager Kate Cross, "but despite the cost, and the fact that none of us likes to see a lame cow, there has been an absence of a structured approach to lameness reduction in recent years."
The DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme has been developed using some of the most up to date research on mobility and lameness, including the recent Tubney Charitable Trust funded report. Taking the learning from the DairyCo Mastitis Control Plan and the Healthy Feet Project at Bristol, the programme gives farmers the opportunity to work with a trained mentor to develop a bespoke plan that will help get lameness under control on a more permanent basis.
"There's much more to it than knowing when to footbath and hoof trim," says Kate. "Working with a mentor to identify and tackle the causes of lameness means you'll have the support you need to get you and your staff using the right approach to get on top of the problem and make sure you stay there."
"Dairy farmers can address mobility challenges using the tools and publications we've produced under the banner of the DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme, alongside the established mobility scoring aids," says Kate. "Using our new lesion recognition card to identify and then record lesions, as well as regular mobility scoring will help farmers to build a picture of mobility issues on their farm.
"This is an important part of the programme as it gives you the background work, but it's working with the mentor that will really benefit you and help to reduce incidence of lameness in the long term."
Find out about the DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme and collect your goody bag at the DairyCo stand, no. AH-203, or visit www.dairyco.org.uk and click on the Farm Info Centre for more information.
Date 31 August 2011
For further information:
N: Helen Fina
T: 02476 478696
DairyCo's aim is to promote world class knowledge to British dairy farmers so they can profit from a sustainable future.
To achieve this DairyCo aims to:
- Ensure farmers have access to world class information needed to improve competitiveness, GHG reduction and productivity
- Ensure farmers have access to direct and indirect support to help them improve their profitability through better business management
- Ensure that dairy farming is reducing its impact on the environment
- Ensure farmers understand the benefits of breeding and use the related tools
DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre. This provides an annual income of around £6.5m.
DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).