Hoof care in France

Some numbers

3nd cattle disease Lameness is the 3rd most common cattle disease after mastitis and reproduction disorder. Affects mainly milking cows which are mostly in stabling.
20 % of cows affected annually There are 20 millions of cows in France and 3.6 millions milking cows. Each year 20% are affected by lameness problems and between 2% to 30% of cows per farm.
The Mortellaro disease 1 of 2 cow affected by lameness suffers from the Mortellaro disease, also known as digital dermatitis. Known in France since 1980, very contagious, it spreads at a rate of knots and is present all around the world. Other lameness diseases are whitlow, foot rot, laminitis or also abscess or sole ulcer.

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Causes of lameness

Stabling Concrete surfaces extension and hard floors that prematurely wear out the horn are conducive factors to lameness. Hooves are weakened, damaged and can more easily be infected by bacteria. The Mortellaro disease is less present in farms with straw yard than in grating farms.
Barn hygien Excessive humidity, ventilation problems and droppings and harmful for hooves. Humidity and irritating gas emanation in grating farms are very aggressive for hooves, hence the importance of a good ventilation to limit the risks of infection and spread. Even if there are less risks in grazing, paths to pasture are sometimes accumulation areas of manure, humidity and stones. It is really important to stabilize the paths.
Herds expansion The number of lameness tripled in recent years and continues to affect more and more farms due to the herds expansion through extension of the concrete surfaces.
Alimentary deficiency The lack of trace elements, the lack of fibers and improperly mixed rations are factors favoring lameness problems and cows fragility.

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The impact of lameness

Decreased milk production “Decreases from 5% to 36%
Lower quality of the milk
-1,8 kg/day in the short term
-300 to -350 kg/day in the long term”
Weightloss The cow loses appetite
Reproduction performance Calving is longer and the success rate decreases of 25 %
Immunity decrease Cows are proner to mastitis and more quickly reformed


Lameness causes significant economic losses, due to serious consequences it has on cows and the treatments cost.