Animal welfare and locomotion-scoring

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Locomotion scoring will play an increasingly important role in the dairy industry, says Ernest Hovingh, extension veterinarian at Penn State University. For instance, animal-welfare certification programs could contain criteria for locomotion-scoring.

Possible questions posed by animal-welfare programs are:

  • Do no more than 3 percent of the animals in the herd slip or fall?
  • Does the parlor and holding pen have non-slip surfaces?

“Some animal-welfare programs want to include criteria that 85 percent of the herd has a locomotion-score of one,” Hovingh told the audience at the Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Conference last week.

For more information on how to implement locomotion-scoring in your herd, click here.

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