assess locomotion in dairy cattle

Promotie

Andrés Schlageter Tello - Performance of raters to assess locomotion in dairy cattle

Lameness is considered an important problem in modern dairy farming. The objective of this thesis was to evaluate the performance of raters to assess locomotion in dairy cattle in terms of reliability and agreement. It was concluded that raters have a moderate performance to assess consistently locomotion in dairy cows, which limits the practical utility of locomotion scoring systems as part of animal welfare assessment protocols and as golden standard for automatic locomotion scoring systems.

Promovendus AA (Andrés) Schlageter Tello, MSc
Promotor prof.dr.ir. PWG (Peter) Groot Koerkamp
Copromotor dr.ir. EAM (Eddy) Bokkers
dr.ir. C (Kees) Lokhorst
Organisatie Wageningen University, Farm Technology, Animal Production Systems
Datum

wo 27 mei 2015 13:30 tot 15:00

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
362
6703 BG Wageningen
0317-483592

Locomotion scoring systems are procedures used to evaluate the quality of cows’ locomotion. When scoring locomotion, raters focus their attention on gait and posture traits that are described in the protocol. Using these traits, raters assign a locomotion score to cows according to a pre-determined scale. A preselected threshold within the scale determines whether a cow is classified as lame or non-lame. Lameness is considered an important problem in modern dairy farming, therefore, the objective of this thesis was to evaluate the performance of raters to assess locomotion in dairy cattle in terms of reliability and agreement. Many different locomotion scoring systems exist, but generally reliability and agreement of these systems are poorly evaluated. When evaluated, raters showed significant variation in reliability and agreement. The variation in reliability and agreement was confirmed in several experiments that studied the performance of raters assessing locomotion and individual gait and posture traits. It was concluded that raters have a moderate performance to assess consistently locomotion in dairy cows, which limits the practical utility of locomotion scoring systems as part of animal welfare assessment protocols and as golden standard for automatic locomotion scoring systems.