Foot disorders, claw health, farm economics and animal welfare

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This is apresentation I gave at the IDF World Dairy Summit, October 17, 2011. It describes the economic and welfare effects of claw disorders.

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Foot disorders, claw health, farm economics and animal welfare

  1. 1. Lameness, cow welfare and sustainable farming Henk Hogeveen together with Mariëlle Bruijnis and Elsbeth Stassen
  2. 2. Sustainable farming Literally: The capacity to endure For dairy farming: Care for: Environment Cow welfare -------- But also Social responsibility and decent profit
  3. 3. Claw health Important for welfare Associated with economic losses Prevalence 80% (!!!) No reduction of incidence and prevalence Farmers don’t put measures into action Underestimation of problem
  4. 4. In this presentation….. Introduce different foot disorders Model to simulate foot disorders in a dairy herd Economic consequences of different foot disorders Welfare consequences of different foot disorders Conclusion
  5. 5. A healthy claw
  6. 6. Different foot disorders Sole haemorrhages and White line disease Interdigital dermatitis/ heel horn erosion Interdigital hyperplasia Digital dermatitisSole ulcer (corns, tyloma) (Mortellaro’s disease) Interdigital phlegmon
  7. 7. Simulation model No foot disorder, healthy (H) PSH PHS PHC PCH Subclinical foot PSC Clinical foot disorder disorder (S) (C) PCUL Culled (Cul)
  8. 8. Modelling assumptions Assumptions (Dutch circumstances): cubicle housing concrete floor pasturing two foot trimming interventions/year 7 different foot disorders
  9. 9. Simulated prevalence 35.00% 30.00% Clinical Subclinical 25.00%Prevalence, % 20.00% 15.00% 10.00% 5.00% 0.00% SoH SoH SoH SoH SoH SoH SoH SoH SoH SoH SoH SoH SUL SUL SUL SUL SUL SUL SUL SUL SUL SUL SUL SUL DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IDHE IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP IP HYP WLD WLD WLD WLD WLD WLD WLD WLD WLD WLD WLD WLD C =15 C = 17 C = 18 C = 11 C = 11 C = 12 C = 12 C = 13 C = 14 C = 11 C = 12 C = 13 SC = 52 SC = 57 SC = 62 SC = 33 SC = 37 SC = 41 SC = 45 SC = 48 SC = 51 SC = 32 SC = 41 SC = 49 January February March April May June July August September October November December
  10. 10. Add consequences to simulation model No foot disorder, healthy (H) PSH PHS PHC PCH Subclinical foot PSC Clinical foot disorder disorder (S) (C) PCUL Culled Economic consequences: Economic consequences: (Cul) - Milk production losses - Milk production losses - Prolonged calving interval - Prolonged calving interval- Welfare impact: - Labor dairy farmer - Estimated pain - Costs foot trimmer - Costs veterinarian Economic consequence: - Treatment - RPO-value - Discarded milk - Welfare impact: - Estimated pain
  11. 11. Economic effectsTotal costs (default input, The Netherlands)Per farm (65 cows) : €3,474 per year (€2,282 to €4,965)Per cow : €53 per cow/year Costs of subclinical foot disorders: 32% Average clinical foot disorder: €67/case Average subclinical foot disorder: €13/case Digital dermatitis gave highest costs (high incidence, high clinical prevalence)
  12. 12. Cost components Visit of veterinarian Treatment Visit of foot trimmer Discarded milk Labour of the dairy farmer Milk production losses Prolonged calving interval Culling
  13. 13. Modelling welfare impact Foot disorder Pain Physical abilities, Affective state, Behavioural abilities health frustration and needs Functioning Feelings Natural livingWelfare aspects bases on Fraser et al. 1997
  14. 14. Further steps Pain estimation Based on locomotion score and pathophysiology Using literature and expertise Calculation welfare impact Herd level (including incidence) Cow level (per case of foot disorder) Weighing pain and duration Questionnaire among experts
  15. 15. Weighing pain and durationExperts: Pain 0.65 and Duration 0.35, st dev: 0.20 Varying opinions on relative importance Duration Pain more important than duration 1 2 3 4 5 1 12.1 21.7 35.7 43.9 50.7 2 26.4 42.4 53.6 61.4 63.6 Pain 3 45.0 56.4 70.0 76.4 80.0 4 62.1 75.7 85.7 89.9 92.9 5 82.9 88.6 94.3 96.4 98.6
  16. 16. Estimated welfare impact per case Subclinical Clinical 0.10 0.08 Relative impact 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.00 IP IDHE DD SoH WLD SUL HYP
  17. 17. Impact foot disorders at herd level costs, clinical welfare, clinical 35% costs, subclinical welfare, subclinical 30% 25% Relative impact 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% E IP YP LD D L H H SU D So ID H W
  18. 18. Welfare vs economics 3.0 2.5 DD SoH average welfare impact per cow 2.0 IDHE 1.5 DD 1.0 SUL IDHE SoH 0.5 HYP WLD WLD HYP IP 0.0 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0 12.0 14.0 16.0 average cost per cow (€/yr)
  19. 19. Concluding remarks Subclinical foot disorders have substantial impact Indirect cost factors (e.g. milk production losses, culling) high Likely to cause underestimation of problem Costs due to foot disorders are substantial: € 53 per cow/year (mastitis: € 78 per cow/year) Increase dairy farmer awareness and stimulate action Costs and welfare consequences correlated Welfare improvement more likely
  20. 20. Finally Welfare improvement touches loss reduction What about “welfare” of culled cows? Improving dairy cow foot health Improves sustainability What are the effects of prevention (vs costs)? Co-ordinated approach towards farmers
  21. 21. Thank you for yourattention!

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