A new angle on the bovine foot
Keywords:structural unsoundness, foot and leg scores, EPD
Structural unsoundness of beef cattle is an important issue for producers and contributes to issues of lameness and injury that result in increased treatment, culling and death in the beef cow-calf segment. In recent years, utilization of structural scoring in the form of foot and leg phenotype scores as an evaluation tool for genetic evaluation to assess the structural conformation of beef cattle in many countries including the United States. The different breed organizations in the United States have developed resources for breeders to assess and capture data related to foot and leg scores with utilization varying from within herd culling to expected progeny difference development and utilization within economic selection indexes. Awareness of structural scoring and associated resources by veterinarians as well as a baseline knowledge of utilization within genetic evaluations, management approaches and environmental risk factors that magnify structural unsoundness into lameness and injury events is an opportunity to provide valuable insight and direction to producers in the form of prevention and selection.