Associations between preventive hoof trimming, activity and resting behaviors
Keywords:Hoof trimming, lameness, animal welfare, studies
Hoof trimming (HT) is a common procedure used to prevent and treat lameness, one of the most important economic and animal welfare diseases in the dairy industry. There is a paucity of research on the effects hoof trimming has on the 3 components of animal welfare: biological function, behavior, and affective states. Current behavioral research suggests hoof trimming causes a decrease in activity, an increase in resting time, and conflicting effects on locomotion. Unfortunately, in these studies, lame animals were included, and this limits the conclusion that can be made on the effect routine HT has on non-lame animals. It is important to evaluate lame and non-lame animals separately because lame animals are already displaying abnormal behavior. Determining the effect of routine hoof trimming on non-lame animals will increase animal health and welfare for dairy cattle by guiding future evaluations of routine HT techniques and HT strategies. The objective of this research was to determine the association between HT and activity and resting behaviors for non-lame cows.