A new industry-wide initiative to help dairy farmers reduce the consequences of compromised mobility in herds and improve productivity and reduce losses, has been launched.

“Lameness continues to be a major cattle health and welfare challenge facing UK producers. It impacts herd fertility, productivity, profitability and sustainability, and lameness losses contribute to the environmental impact of livestock farming,” comments Matt Dobbs from HerdVision, one of the partners in Stride – the UK dairy mobility initiative.

“Despite this, there is no national picture of lameness in dairy cows. The aim of Stride is to rectify this position and by so doing help signpost the industry to practical solutions that will help improve mobility in the national herd.”

A broad range of companies are involved in the Stride initiative to include Ceva, HerdVision, IVC Farm Vets, Neogen and Zinpro with a number of industry organisations also supporting.

“Our aim, based around the national survey, is to identify current producers’ views on lameness, its impact on herd health and welfare, and their businesses’ bottom line,” Mr Dobbs continues.

“The outcomes will be used to inform the wider industry, communicate clear actions to help producers take steps to reduce lameness in their herds and so mitigate the costs and consequences of lameness to their businesses.

We will be running a series of on-farm events focussed on mobility improvement over the summer and highlighting the importance of reducing cow lameness to industry stakeholders and government.

“We hope farmers will be prepared to spend a few minutes completing the online survey which is the start of our activities so we can build a comprehensive picture of UK dairy cow mobility and develop meaningful actions to raise mobility levels across the national herd,” Mr Dobbs continues.

To complete the survey scan the QR code below

The Scottish Farmer: Scan the QR code to do the survey