LAMENESS and hoof health expert James Wilson, BSc, will be on the Provita Animal Health stand at the Royal Ulster Winter Fair this year offering farmers in Northern Ireland the opportunity to speak to him about their own farm’s hoof health programmes.
James graduated from Nottingham University in 2014 with a BSc in Agriculture & Livestock Science. After graduating he worked primarily as a herdsperson across grazing and housed herds of different management systems.
Following this time in herd management James returned to Nottingham University to complete a PhD investigating optimal treatment and prevention strategies for claw horn lesions in dairy cattle. During the PhD, James gained a vast range of experience trimming both commercially and in a research capacity across a range of systems across the globe.
The PhD project was completed in 2021 and James now works in Cornwall as a Foot Health Consultant with Herd Health Consultancy. He has a passion for using evidenced based approaches to challenging lameness on farm and works closely with farmers, trimmers and vets alike to achieve this.
Visit Provita’s stand, Eikon Hall 48, to get tips on your footbath management. As James explains, once an animal is infected with digital dermatitis, she will carry the disease with her for the rest of her life. One way to manage this is through proper footbath use and identifying active lesions for timely treatment.
The goal is not to focus solely on treatment but to prevent new infections by disinfecting feet, ideally every day if not every milking. Cows with active lesions can be identified and promptly treated to reduce the pain and send the lesion to a healing state that does not infect other healthy feet.
Footbathing also appears to help keep infected cows free from infection if done properly at the right concentration of product. Using the footbath will require some tinkering and adjustment at various times throughout the whole year.
It is almost like treating the footbath like a dial, where at certain times you will need to increase or decrease the footbath solution concentration and frequency of use to match the level of digital dermatitis in the herd. Therefore, monitoring and management of digital dermatitis on a continual (weekly) basis will make it cost effective.
As bio-technology animal health innovators and with innovation at the heart of Provita, its dedicated Research & Development team has now developed a new improved Hoofsure Endurance formula. Utilising proprietary technology, the new formula is 33 per cent faster acting and provides more contact time on the hoof.
Dr Nick Bell states that Hoofsure Endurance is “the only product I’ve ever trialled that has performed as well as formalin at preventing new lesions, and I’ve trialled a lot of products”.
Hoofsure Endurance is well placed to help dairy, beef and sheep farms get on top of and control lameness. It is a proprietary footbath solution with over 40 trials across three continents. Notable research on cattle shows it is up to 44 per cent more effective than formalin and copper sulphate with proven antibacterial activity.
For sheep, an independent clinical study on the effectiveness of footbath solutions found that 65 per cent of sheep improved after one pass through a footbath containing Hoofsure Endurance at two per cent dilution rate. Very cost-effective formula – highly concentrated allowing up to 500 cow passes per 200 litre footbath and up to 400 sheep passes per 100 litre footbath.
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