A SURVEY to define the work of a new mobility initiative to help dairy farmers has been launched. 

Stride, the UK dairy mobility initiative, is aimed at helping dairy farmers reduce the consequences of compromised mobility in their herds, improve productivity and reduce losses. 

The first activity as part of the initiative is a national survey. 

Matt Dobs from HerdVision, one of the partners in Stride, said:  “Lameness continues to be a major cattle health and welfare challenge facing UK producers.

"It impacts herd fertility, productivity, profitability and sustainability, and lameness losses contribute to the environmental impact of livestock farming. 

“Despite this, there is no national picture of lameness in dairy cows.  The aim of Stride is to rectify this position and by so doing help signpost the industry to practical solutions that will help improve mobility in the national herd.”

Partners in Stride include Ceva, HerdVision, IVC Farm Vets, Neogen and Zinpro.  In addition a number of industry organisations are supporting the initiative.

To take part in the survey, click here

Mr Dobbs added: “Our aim, based around the national survey, is to identify current producers’ views on lameness, its impact on herd health and welfare, and their businesses’ bottom line.

“The outcomes will be used to inform the wider industry, communicate clear actions to help producers take steps to reduce lameness in their herds and so mitigate the costs and consequences of lameness to their businesses.  We will be running a series of on-farm events focussed on mobility improvement over the summer and highlighting the importance of reducing cow lameness to industry stakeholders and government.

“We hope farmers will be prepared to spend a few minutes completing the online survey which is the start of our activities so we can build a comprehensive picture of UK dairy cow mobility and develop meaningful actions to raise mobility levels across the national herd."

Participants who complete the survey will be entered into a draw to win a range of prizes donated by the sponors.