Our RoMS-qualifying mobility scoring course
On 10th Jan I ran a mobility scoring course which qualified the attendees to go on the Register of Mobility Scorers. We learned about lameness, the cost of lameness to the UK dairy industry and to individual farmers. Then we got onto the role that early detection plays in making things better. And how mobility scoring is the first step towards reducing lameness and cutting that often forgotten cost of having a lameness problem. We set our boundaries for the mobility scores in the AHDB Mobility Scoring system - from 0 (perfect locomotion) to 3 (severe lameness), using videos of other people mobility scoring. Then after lunch we went to a local dairy farm and practised what we had learnt. The scoring itself is not the complicated bit in real life - it's keeping safe, choosing a place to stand where you get a good enough view without influencing the cows and feeding back your findings to the farm staff.
This was one of the places we tried mobility scoring the cows. We had good vision of the cows from the side, could identify the cows from their freeze brands and were not impacting the way most of the cows walked... the more nosey ones stopped to look, but most kept on walking back to their feed. The surface under foot was flat, with good grip and no obstacles.
If you are interested in joining one of our future mobility scoring courses, see the details here:
Sally's Blog: Independent Mobility Inspection to be a New Requirement for Milk Contracts?
We have recently been contacted by The British Cattle Veterinary Association to say that there will soon be formed a Register of Mobility Scorers (RoMS). The register will be an independent, self-regulatory body which encourages the widespread use of standardised, independent mobility scoring conducted by trained and accredited scorers. Soon, it is likely that those farmers who have a Supermarket milk contract and, possibly, eventually all milk buyers will initially expect, and later require, those inspections to be conducted by a member of the RoMS.
We already perform a large amount of mobility scoring and have skilled and experienced scorers within our practice. We shall shortly be applying for membership of the RoMS so that we can continue to offer a high quality service at a reasonable price (i.e not vet rate!!)
As an optional additional service, we can also convert the raw list of scores into a report which monitors your herd's progress against previous months and keeps you up to speed with how the mobiity in your herd is developing. If there is a sign of deterioration, we will alert you early so that you can examine the issues and put measures in place to improve the situation as soon as possibe.
Feel free to speak to us about the option of weekly or bimonthly mobility scoring with little to no effort required on your part (except for ensuring you pick up any lame cows we find!)