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UK farmers underestimate lameness in beef cattle

J. Tunstall, K. Mueller, D. Grove White and others

Frontiers in Veterinary Science (2019) 6

doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00094

• What did the research find?

Most of the farmers questioned underestimated lameness prevalence on their farms when compared with the researcher’s evaluations, with a mean underestimate of 7 per cent. This is an important barrier to lameness detection and treatment. Analysis of interview transcripts identified four key areas of concern: recognition of lameness, treatment approaches, the training provided to farmers and confusion over transport and slaughter options available.

• How was it conducted?

A total of 21 UK beef farmers were recruited to this study. The farmers were asked to estimate the lameness prevalence on their farm before a researcher conducted locomotion scoring of their herd using a five-point scale. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were also conducted to capture information such as current approaches, their knowledge of lameness and their views on its importance. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, and …

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