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Article

Benchmarking Based on Regularly Recorded Claw Health Data of Austrian Dairy Cattle for Implementation in the Cattle Data Network (RDV)

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Department of Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University Clinic for Ruminants, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria
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ZuchtData EDV-Dienstleistungen GmbH, 1200 Vienna, Austria
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Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Natural Resources and Livestock Sciences, 1180 Vienna, Austria
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Landwirtschaftliches Zentrum für Rinderhaltung, Grünlandwirtschaft, Milchwirtschaft, Wild und Fischerei Baden-Württemberg (LAZBW), 88326 Aulendorf, Germany
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Praxisgemeinschaft für Klauengesundheit, 81247 Munich, Germany
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Landeskuratorium der Erzeugerringe für Tierische Veredelung in Bayern e.V. (LKV), 80687 München, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: George Oikonomou
Animals 2022, 12(7), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070808
Received: 22 February 2022 / Revised: 14 March 2022 / Accepted: 17 March 2022 / Published: 22 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
Benchmarking is an assessment process that compares an individual entity to their peer group and the ‘best in class’. The goal is to motivate for improvement, e.g., claw health in dairy farms. We describe the pre-requisites necessary for establishing a benchmarking system for claw health. Data were transmitted by hoof trimmers, who recorded claw lesions of dairy cows in 512 herds during each trimming visit. National dairy herd improvement organisations provided animal and herd information, such as milk performance and culling data, and scoring of cows for lameness at regular milk performance tests for 99 herds. Appropriate key performance indicators for describing claw health in dairy cattle are the incidences of risk of lameness, 13 common claw lesions, and the annual culling risk directly related to claw and limb disorders. All data sets were for 2020. These key performance indicators were arranged in a benchmarking system using six classes (mean, median, 10th, 25th, 75th, and 90th percentiles) where farms in the 10th percentile represented the ‘best in class’.
While benchmarking is already used for the assessment of performance gaps in cattle herd management and welfare concerns, its application to quantifying claw health performance is relatively new. The goal here was to establish a benchmarking system for claw health in Austrian dairy cattle. We used electronically registered claw health data of cows from 512 dairy herds documented by professional hoof trimmers, culling data from the same herds, and locomotion scores taken at regular milk performance testings in 99 dairy herds during 2020. Mean, median and the 10th, 25th, 75th, and 90th percentiles of the incidences of risk of lameness, 13 common claw lesions, and the annual culling risk directly related to claw and limb disorders were used as key performance indicators. Only validated data sets were used and participating trimmers and locomotion scorers had to pass interobserver reliability tests with weighted Cohen’s kappa values ≥ 0.61 indicating substantial interobserver agreement. This claw health benchmarking system is intended to be used henceforth in the transnational cattle data network (RDV) by all participating farmers and is also available for veterinarians and consultants, with the agreement of respective farmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: lameness; claw lesions; ‘alarm’ lesions; claw trimming; electronic recording; culling rate; cattle; benchmarking lameness; claw lesions; ‘alarm’ lesions; claw trimming; electronic recording; culling rate; cattle; benchmarking
MDPI and ACS Style

Kofler, J.; Suntinger, M.; Mayerhofer, M.; Linke, K.; Maurer, L.; Hund, A.; Fiedler, A.; Duda, J.; Egger-Danner, C. Benchmarking Based on Regularly Recorded Claw Health Data of Austrian Dairy Cattle for Implementation in the Cattle Data Network (RDV). Animals 2022, 12, 808. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070808

AMA Style

Kofler J, Suntinger M, Mayerhofer M, Linke K, Maurer L, Hund A, Fiedler A, Duda J, Egger-Danner C. Benchmarking Based on Regularly Recorded Claw Health Data of Austrian Dairy Cattle for Implementation in the Cattle Data Network (RDV). Animals. 2022; 12(7):808. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070808

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kofler, Johann, Marlene Suntinger, Martin Mayerhofer, Kristina Linke, Lorenz Maurer, Alexandra Hund, Andrea Fiedler, Jürgen Duda, and Christa Egger-Danner. 2022. "Benchmarking Based on Regularly Recorded Claw Health Data of Austrian Dairy Cattle for Implementation in the Cattle Data Network (RDV)" Animals 12, no. 7: 808. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070808

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