A New Claw Health Atlas

By Steve Mason on

At the 2008 Conference on Lameness in Ruminants, held in Kuopio Finland, the ‘International Lameness Committee’ proposed standardized definitions of 4 infectious and 10 non-infectious hoof (foot) lesions commonly found in dairy cattle. These definitions (described here) have become the basis of several computerized claw lesion recording systems, including Hoof Supervisor®, the system used by some 60+ Canadian hoof trimmers.

More recently, a diverse group of claw experts from around the world, including scientists, claw trimmers, bovine practitioners, and geneticists, have produced a new standard for the identification and recording of foot and claw disorders that has been approved by the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR). Coordinated by the ICAR working group for functional traits and based on an inventory of existing recording systems for claw data, definitions and illustrations of the major foot and claw conditions in dairy cattle have been included in the new ICAR Claw Health Atlas.

ICAR is an international organisation whose mission is to promote the development and improvement of performance recording and genetic evaluation of farm livestock. Its members are animal recording organisations from around the world, including the Canadian Dairy Network, Canwest DHI and Valacta. A current project funded by Dairy Farmers of Canada (described here) will facilitate import into the Canadian DHI database of hoof health data collected by hoof trimmers using electronic data collection systems. Use of the ICAR Atlas will ensure international consistency in the recording of claw disorders.

A pdf version of the new Atlas is available here.

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