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Chelmsford, United Kingdom

Barker Z.E.,University of Warwick | Wright J.L.,University of Warwick | Blowey R.W.,Wood Veterinary Group | Amory J.R.,University of Warwick | And 2 more authors.
Animal Welfare | Year: 2012

In the final year of a three-year study of lameness in dairy cattle, 40 herds were allocated to either an intervention (22) or control (18) group. Farms in the intervention group were visited by a veterinarian who made up to 16 recommendations to reduce the incidence of lameness based on potential risks for lameness observed at that visit. Farms in the control group were visited and the same observations were made, but no changes recommended. All farms were visited on three further occasions to score the locomotion of all cows and collect information on changes made to the farm. Before intervention, the mean herd size, lactation average milk yield per cow and prevalence of severely lame cows were 122, 8,157 l and 9.85% for the control group and 109, 7,807 l and 9.14% for the intervention group. After the intervention there were no significant differences between the treatments in terms of the change in prevalence of severely lame cows or the change in rate of sole ulcer, white line disease or digital dermatitis. The overall uptake of recommendations was 41.3%. There were no significant correlations between the percentage of risks addressed and the rate of sole ulcer or prevalence of severely lame cows and only a non-significant trend for white line disease. Improvements to cubicle dimensions were associated with a reduction in the rate of sole ulcer, and changing nutrition and adding biotin to the ration were associated with a reduction in white line disease. Conversely, increasing the amount of sawdust to cubicle floors was associated with increased rate of sole ulcer and white line disease and improving cubicle dimensions was associated with increased rate of white line disease. © 2012 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. Source

Leenaars M.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Hooijmans C.R.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van Veggel N.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van Veggel N.,Center for Equine and Animal Science | And 6 more authors.
Laboratory Animals | Year: 2012

Before starting a new animal experiment, thorough analysis of previously performed experiments is essential from a scientific as well as from an ethical point of view. The method that is most suitable to carry out such a thorough analysis of the literature is a systematic review (SR). An essential first step in an SR is to search and find all potentially relevant studies. It is important to include all available evidence in an SR to minimize bias and reduce hampered interpretation of experimental outcomes. Despite the recent development of search filters to find animal studies in PubMed and EMBASE, searching for all available animal studies remains a challenge. Available guidelines from the clinical field cannot be copied directly to the situation within animal research, and although there are plenty of books and courses on searching the literature, there is no compact guide available to search and find relevant animal studies. Therefore, in order to facilitate a structured, thorough and transparent search for animal studies (in both preclinical and fundamental science), an easy-to-use, step-by-step guide was prepared and optimized using feedback from scientists in the field of animal experimentation. The step-by-step guide will assist scientists in performing a comprehensive literature search and, consequently, improve the scientific quality of the resulting review and prevent unnecessary animal use in the future. Source

Blackie N.,Center for Equine and Animal Science | Bleach E.C.L.,Center for Equine and Animal Science | Bleach E.C.L.,Harper Adams University College | Amory J.R.,Center for Equine and Animal Science | Scaife J.R.,Center for Equine and Animal Science
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

During this study we explored the gait attributes commonly used in subjective locomotion scoring systems and use new technology to evaluate these gait attributes objectively on 60 Holstein lactating dairy cattle. Kinematic gait analysis more commonly used in sports and equine science was adapted for use on dairy cattle to assess stride characteristics, joint flexion, and spine posture in dairy cows with different lameness status. Cows that were lame had shorter stride length and had negative tracking distance compared with nonlame cattle. Lame cattle did not show any difference in spine posture when walking. Gait alterations were more evident in cows with sole ulcers, which showed considerable shortening of stride and had more negative tracking compared with cows with no hoof lesions. Cows with sole ulcers also showed significant shortening of the spine when walking than cows with no hoof lesions. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Source

Blackie N.,Center for Equine and Animal Science | Bleach E.,Harper Adams University College | Amory J.,Center for Equine and Animal Science | Scaife J.,Center for Equine and Animal Science
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2011

The present study examines the impact of lameness on the time budgets and gait of dairy cattle during early lactation. Automated assessment of activity together with an objective method (using video motion analysis) of assessing the gait of the cattle was utilised.Twenty-five Holstein dairy cows were recruited to the study and were assessed during weeks 1, 6 and 12 of lactation. Lying behaviour was measured using IceTag™ activity monitors which were attached to the right hind leg of the cow for 4 consecutive days during each study week. Cows were locomotion scored to evaluate the influence of lameness on gait and behaviour of cows. Cows that were lame in a hind limb had significantly shorter fore and hind stride lengths. They also tended (p=0.06) to have a negative tracking distance and walk at a slower (p=0.002) speed compared with cows that were considered to be non-lame. Lame cows spent 2. h more time lying down per day in comparison to non-lame cows. Cows spent significantly less time lying down during week 6 of lactation and more time standing in comparison to the cows in week 12. The lying behaviour of cows was not different during weeks 1 and 6 or weeks 1 and 12. Cows were significantly more active during week 1 than week 12 of lactation. However the activity of the cows during week 6 was not different from weeks 1 and 12 of lactation. The present study demonstrates that lameness influences stride characteristics and lying behaviour of zero grazed dairy cows. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Blackie N.,Center for Equine and Animal Science | Amory J.,Center for Equine and Animal Science | Bleach E.,Harper Adams University College | Scaife J.,Center for Equine and Animal Science
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2011

The present study examines the impact of chronic lameness, where animals remained the same locomotion score for 3 consecutive months on lying behaviour of dairy cattle.The 59 lactating Holstein dairy cows recruited to the study, were grouped according to locomotion score (LS) where low scores indicate normal gait. LS-1 (n= 16), LS-2 (n= 21) and LS-3 (n= 22) were used. Locomotion score groups were balanced for parity and stage of lactation. Lying behaviour was measured using IceTag™ monitors which were attached cow for 4 consecutive days. Cows were maintained in their home pen with grooved concrete flooring. All data were normally distributed and were assessed using a one-way ANOVA with post hoc Tukey test.The lame cows (LS-3) spent significantly longer lying down compared to non-lame (LS-1 or LS-2) cows (13 h/day vs. 10.9. h/day, respectively), this was accompanied by significantly reduced standing times. When the behaviour was broken down over the day and evaluated alongside management factors it was noted that the lame cows were less reactive to feed being pushed up and more of the lame cows were found to be standing up in the early hours of the morning, possibly to avoid conflict over resources. Similarly, the differences in lying times between lame and non-lame cows only differed significantly in the evening period (16:01-23:00). © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

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