[Establishment of key indicators and limit values for assessment of claw health of cattle in Switzerland].

Huber, Sabrina; Bernhard, Johanna Karin; Syring, Claudia; Steiner, Adrian (2021). [Establishment of key indicators and limit values for assessment of claw health of cattle in Switzerland]. Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde, 163(2), pp. 139-152. Gesellschaft Schweizer Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte 10.17236/sat00285

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Herd medicine is a field of buiatrics characterized by regular and systematic visits by the veterinarian to improve the health and performance of the animals, the quality of animal products and finally the satisfaction of the farm staff. Internationally established key indicators, such as age at first calving, heat recognition rate or the percentage of cows with clinical mastitis per month (%),26 have been available for a long time in the areas of fertility and udder health. These key indicators help veterinarians to recognize and define health problems at herd level at an early stage and to work out measures for their improvement. Such key indicators are currently lacking in the field of claw health, hence making standardized identification of problem farms considerably more difficult. Considering the permanent negative influence of claw health problems on fertility, performance and overall animal welfare, it becomes clear how valuable claw health indicators will be in the future. The aim of this study was, therefore, to develop both primary and secondary indicators of claw health and to define corresponding limit values for Switzerland. Based on a literature search, several primary and secondary indicators were developed (1˚K: Herd problem Yes/No, 2˚K: Classification of the problem). These were discussed in an expert panel consisting of practicing veterinarians, staff of the Swiss bovine herd health service and university professors with regard to their possible practical implementation and relevance. Finally, 3 primary and 10 secondary indicators were judged to be suitable to assess a herd with regard to claw health. The primary key indicators were: proportion of cows leaving the herd due to a claw problem, proportion of lame cows of a herd, and proportion of cattle with at least one claw disease. The corresponding provisional limit values (exceeding the value = problem) for Switzerland were worked out by means of surveys among farmers, hoof trimmers, veterinary students and veterinarians. In addition, recommendations from the literature and current prevalence studies were used to adapt the defined limit values to the situation on Swiss farms. In the coming years, the claw health project «Gesunde Klauen - das Fundament für die Zukunft» will collect current prevalence values of claw diseases, and the limit values will then be adjusted and specified accordingly.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants

UniBE Contributor:

Huber, Sabrina; Bernhard, Johanna Karin; Syring, Claudia and Steiner, Adrian


500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




Gesellschaft Schweizer Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte




Nathalie Viviane Zollinger

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2021 17:24

Last Modified:

12 Feb 2021 17:25

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Herd health Herdengesundheit Kennzahl Klauen Lahmheit Prävalenz Rindvieh Salute della mandria Santé des troupeaux bovini bovins cattle chiffres-clés claw key indicator lameness onglons prevalenza prévalence valori zoccoli zoppia ­boiterie ­prevalence



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