Recent study found lameness to be 36% in diary farms but control would take effort and there are financial constraints to fixing it. It just like being on WCB.
Res Vet Sci. 2010 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]
Working towards a reduction in cattle lameness: 1. Understanding barriers to lameness control on dairy farms.
Leach KA, Whay HR, Maggs CM, Barker ZE, Paul ES, Bell AK, Main DC. abstract here
- common – average 36%
- Unnoticed – “Ninety percent of farmers did not perceive lameness to be a major problem on their farm.”
- Not dealt with – “Time and labour were important limiting factors for lameness control activities and financial constraints prevented farmers taking action on advice in 30% of cases.”
Comment – I suspect the thought is the lameness is probably the cow’s fault – they’re too fat, too deconditioned, and too fear avoidant to sustain themselves properly. Effort to find out what caused the lameness would take way too much effort and it would be easier to just send them back into the same environment that made them lame in the first place – and keep sending them back each time they go lame – it’s the cows fault after all.
In WCB, their job seems to be to patch them up and send them back to the same place where they had problems. If there is no discrete injury involved, then that is where their involvement ends. I have seen repeat re-injuries, repeatedly sent back; nurses are a typical case. It is easier to blame the victim then to take on the workplace. The employers as well may be unaware or want to be unaware there is a problem.
Am I being too cynical?
Addendum – it has been suggested that to eliminate the fear avoidance of these animals, one should make the run through sets of tire obstacles. Those that make it through must have been faking it. Those that broke the other leg must have had a pre-existing problem that takes you off the hook. They can be taken out and shot. This technique could be considered a work hardening program.