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Herd health planning: farmers' perceptions in relation to lameness and mastitis
  1. N. J. Bell, MA, VetMB, MRCVS1,
  2. D. C. J. Main, BVetMed, PhD, CertVR, DWEL, MRCVS1,
  3. H. R. Whay, BSc, PhD1,
  4. T. G. Knowles, BSc, MSc, PhD, Cstat, MIBiol, CBiol1,
  5. M. J. Bell, BSc1 and
  6. A. J. F. Webster, MA, PhD, VetMB, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Department of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU


Between December 2002 and December 2003, the herd health planning activities on 61 dairy farms in the uk were compared with several measures of lameness and mastitis. Lameness had been reported as a problem in 53 of the herds directly by the farm and in the other eight by the nominating local veterinary practice; 54 of the farms also reported having a mastitis problem. Fifty-three (87 per cent) of the farms had some form of written herd health plan, of which 21 (40 per cent) had been in place for 12 months or less. All the farms were recording mastitis in some way, although 38 (62 per cent) of the farmers did not review these records and only four retained the results of a comprehensive record review. Farms defined as having a high incidence of mastitis were more likely to be reviewing their health records, but farms defined as having a high prevalence of lameness in a sentinel group of early lactation heifers were less likely to be reviewing their health records.

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