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Hoof Trimming Shows Promise for Addressing Sow Lameness

07 November 2013
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre has shown hoof trimming to be an effective option for addressing lameness within the sow herd, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Scientists with the Prairie Swine Centre in partnership with the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan have been evaluating the effectiveness of hoof trimming in preventing lameness and treating lameness within the sow herd.

Dr Yolande Seddon, a post doctoral fellow in swine ethology and welfare with the Prairie Swine Centre, told those on hand last week in Winnipeg for a sow lameness, longevity and temperament workshop a one year study funded through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program has shed new light on the value of hoof trimming.

Dr Yolande Seddon-Prairie Swine Centre

Researchers have been primarily looking at the effect of hoof trimming on the hoof structure, how it improves hoof confirmation and really trying to see whether it can prevent lameness developing and also prevent worsening of lameness or can we actually reduce the lameness.

The study from the Prairie Swine Centre was not able to show, from our initial study, that the preventative trimming had an effect to reduce lameness between two groups, control and treatment group.

There was no difference but, with regards to lame sows that are lame when they receive their trim, we did actually see a significant decrease in lameness so the number of sows that were lame and also the severity of lameness scores so they were either lame and they went from moderately lame to mildly lame or they actually became totally sound.

I think all this is because lameness is multifactoral and we don't know whether it could be purely a result of the hoof lesions.

For that study in particular we also looked at rubber mats and nice that we had a response.
Now we need to break it down look at it in depth.

Dr Seddon notes the Prairie Swine Centre study ran for one year and now the intent is to do more longer term studies.

ThePigSite News Desk

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