A survey of the number of treatments for lameness in 21,000 dairy cows from 185 herds in the University of Edinburgh/Dalgety Spillers dairy herd health and productivity service in England and Wales showed an average incidence of cases of 25 per cent. Veterinary surgeons treated 6.3 per cent and farmers 18.7 per cent and 1.4 per cent of cows were culled because of lameness. Monthly and regional variations were recorded. An assessment of the economic effects suggested that the average annual cost in a 100 cow herd was 1175 pounds with an overall cost to British farmers of more than 35 million pounds. The economic importance is such that research into specific factors affecting foot health should be carried out. Meanwhile, a broad approach to prevention and control of lameness on farms is recommended under the general headings of management/environment, nutrition and breeding.
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