Special Issue "Lameness in Livestock"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal System and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. George Oikonomou

Institute of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Chester High Road, Neston, Cheshire, CH647TE, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Dairy cattle lameness; Dairy cattle genetics; Microbiomics
Guest Editor
Dr. Helen Higgins

Institute of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Chester High Road, Neston, Cheshire, CH647TE, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Advanced animal husbandry; Disease mechanisms
Guest Editor
Dr. Jennifer Duncan

Institute of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool. Chester High Road, Neston, Cheshire, CH647TE, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Diseases of lambs and parasitic diseases; Sheep reproduction; Pregnancy and parturition; "lameness in small ruminants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Lameness represents an intractable challenge for the livestock production industry; it seriously compromises the efficiency of livestock production systems and poses a threat to food security. More importantly, lameness is a serious animal welfare concern affecting all of the ‘five freedoms’. Apart from the obvious implication with ‘freedom from pain, injury or disease’, lameness can also compromise animals’ freedom from hunger (lameness in dairy cattle has been shown to lead to decreased dry matter intake), freedom from discomfort, freedom to express normal behaviour (it is for example known that lame animals are less likely to express normal oestrus behaviour), and freedom from fear and distress. Unfortunately, several studies suggest that the prevalence of lameness is still high among many different livestock species. With the problem commonly encountered, both producers and their advisors are at risk of becoming habituated to it. In addition, implementing lameness control measures is often difficult in practice, not least because the benefits of taking action may not be fully realised for months or even years. There is, therefore, an urgent need to advance our abilities to facilitate the human behaviour changes needed to tackle this complex disease and studies addressing this need will be particularly welcomed in this Special Issue. Original research that will further our understanding of the aetiopathogenesis, the epidemiology and the genetic background of lameness causing diseases is also welcomed. Systematic reviews of pertinent topics will also be considered for publication.

Prof. George Oikonomou
Dr. Helen Higgins
Dr. Jennifer Duncan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Behaviour change
  • Livestock
  • Lameness
  • Mobility
  • Prevention
  • Treatment
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Social science

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Routine Herd Health Data as Cow-Based Risk Factors Associated with Lameness in Pasture-Based, Spring Calving Irish Dairy Cows
Animals 2019, 9(5), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050204
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 29 April 2019
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Abstract
Herd-level risk factors related to the cow’s environment have been associated with lameness. Uncomfortable stall surface and inadequate depth of bedding as well as abrasive alley way surface are contributing factors to increased levels of lameness. Access to pasture has been found as [...] Read more.
Herd-level risk factors related to the cow’s environment have been associated with lameness. Uncomfortable stall surface and inadequate depth of bedding as well as abrasive alley way surface are contributing factors to increased levels of lameness. Access to pasture has been found as having a beneficial effect on cows’ locomotion. However, dairy cattle managed under grazing conditions are exposed to a different set of risk factors for lameness, mainly associated with cow tracks. Cow-based risk factors for lameness are not as clearly defined as the herd level risk factors. The objective of the present study was to use routine herd health monitoring data to identify cow-based risk factors for lameness and utilise this information to indicate cows at risk of developing lameness in the first 150 days of lactation. Lameness data were gathered from 10 pasture-based dairy herds. A total of 1715 cows were monitored, of which 1675 cows were available for analysis. Associations between lameness status and potential cow-level risk factors were determined using multivariable logistic regression. Parity 3 and 4 + cows showed odd ratios (OR’s) for lameness of 3.92 and 8.60 respectively (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.46–6.24; 5.68–13.0). Maximum loss of Body condition score (BCS) after calving exhibits OR’s for lameness of 1.49 (95% CI 1.08–2.04) if cows lost 0.5 in BCS after calving and 2.26 (95% CI 1.30–3.95) for cows losing more than 0.5 BCS. Animals calving in BCS 3.25 and ≥ 3.5 had correlating OR’s of 0.54 (95% CI 0.34–0.87) and 0.33 (95% CI 0.16–0.65) for being lame compared to cows calving with BCS ≤ 2.75. Data gathered as part of herd health monitoring can be used in conjunction with lameness records to identify shortcomings in lameness management. Findings and recommendations on lameness management can be formulated from readily available information on cow-based risk factors for lameness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lameness in Livestock)
Open AccessArticle
Using the Footfall Sound of Dairy Cows for Detecting Claw Lesions
Animals 2019, 9(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9030078
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
An important factor for animal welfare in cattle farming is the detection of lameness. The presented study is part of a project aiming to develop a system that is capable of an automated diagnosis of claw lesions by analyzing the footfall sound. Data [...] Read more.
An important factor for animal welfare in cattle farming is the detection of lameness. The presented study is part of a project aiming to develop a system that is capable of an automated diagnosis of claw lesions by analyzing the footfall sound. Data were generated from cows walking along a measurement zone where piezoelectric sensors recorded their footfall sounds. Locomotion of the animals was scored and they were graded according to a three-scale scoring system (LS1 = non-lame; LS2 = uneven gait; LS3 = lame). Subsequently, the cows were examined by a hoof trimmer. The walking speed across the test track was significantly higher in cows with LS1 compared to those with LS2 and LS3 and thus, they were showing a smoother gait pattern. The standard deviation of volume (SDV) in the recorded footfall sound signal was considered as a factor for the force of a cow’s footsteps. Cows with non-infectious claw lesions showed lower SDV than healthy cows and those with infectious claw diseases. This outcome confirmed the hypothesis that the evaluated cows affected by non-infectious claw lesions have a greater sensitivity to pain and demonstrate a less forceful gait pattern. These first results clearly show the potential of using footfall sound analysis for detecting claw lesions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lameness in Livestock)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Dairy Farmers’ Perceptions of and Actions in Relation to Lameness Management
Animals 2019, 9(5), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050270
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract
Lameness continues to be a welfare and economic issue for dairy cows. However, the consequences of lameness seem to be better understood by veterinarians and related personnel in comparison to dairy farmers. Prompt detection and treatment of lame cows is essential in reducing [...] Read more.
Lameness continues to be a welfare and economic issue for dairy cows. However, the consequences of lameness seem to be better understood by veterinarians and related personnel in comparison to dairy farmers. Prompt detection and treatment of lame cows is essential in reducing its negative impact on milk processing systems. To that end, understanding farmers’ perceptions regarding the significance of lameness to dairy cows is vital. One fundamental aspect is the underestimation of lameness prevalence by dairy farmers, which is as a result of different understanding of the problem. The same applies to their decision to treat lame cows and to adopt various detection and management practices. All of these shortcomings contribute to poor cattle welfare and economic losses in dairy production. This review summarizes the results of studies that have investigated dairy farmers’ perceptions of lameness and the associated implications on the wellbeing and productivity of dairy cows. Factors associated with farmers’ attitudes toward claw health and lameness management are also presented. Additionally, economic observations relating to lameness prevention, treatment and the adoption of lameness detection systems are also highlighted. To strengthen these points, interventional programmes requiring farmers’ participation are discussed as a promising approach in answering some of these challenges. A review of the literature indicates both the opportunities and barriers inherent in the tackling the lameness issue from the farmers’ perspectives. Such knowledge is crucial in identifying measures on how to motivate dairy farmers towards proper lameness management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lameness in Livestock)
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