New cattle hoof trimming courses launch at Rural Innovation Centre

A new hoof trimming and lameness qualification has been launched to help industry professionals improve cattle welfare and management.

The first ‘Bovine Lameness and Professional Bovine Foot Trimming’ course, developed by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and the Cattle Hoof Care Standards Board (CHCSB) will begin on 2 September.

The two day course will be held at the University’s Rural Innovation Centre (RIC) near Cirencester, and for a subsequent three days on-farm. The centre runs a range of professional development courses in areas such as administration of veterinary medicines, sheep shearing and tractor driving.

To mark the launch the partnership held a day of presentations, an interactive workshop and a Q&A panel discussion with expert speakers in June 2019. The event at the RIC was fully booked with delegates comprising of foot trimmers and vets. Topics covered included improving communication between foot trimmer and farmer and ways of helping nutritionists, vets and trimmers work together on lameness. Guest presenters included Dr Gerard Cramer (University of Minnesota), Derek Armstrong of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Dr John Remnant (University of Nottingham) and James Wilson (University of Nottingham).

Derek Armstrong, ADHB, highlighted that the Red Tractor Standards are changing and cow mobility was a very important aspect of the new requirements. The day ended with an introduction to the new qualification. The foot trimmers who attended said they were keen to be given greater responsibility in their roles, such as the ability to administer more pain relief.

Navaratnam Partheeban, Senior Lecturer in Production Livestock at the RAU said:

"Hoof care has become an increasingly integral part of cattle management over the last few decades.  The maintenance and restoration of hoof function is also paramount in improving the health, welfare and mobility of the national herd. Foot trimmers are essential to cattle farms and want to work with the whole farm team to help reduce and prevent lameness. Moving forward, they want to upskill and develop to become more professional and our new qualification is focussed on helping them to reach this goal."

Full details, dates, times and how to book a place on this course can be found here: https://bit.ly/2LQ1k9g

About the Cattle Hoof Care Standards Board (CHCSB)

The CHCSB was formed when a group of industry professionals (both practical and academic) identified the need for a register of qualified cattle hoof/foot trimmers whose skills would unfailingly withstand close scrutiny. It is a self-funding non-profit organisation without commercial bias. Its objective is to provide dairy and beef producers with a register of professionals with an industry-recognised qualification to ensure that high standards are implemented in the promotion of cattle welfare.

Membership is open, and livestock farmers committed to the promotion, achievement and maintenance of a validated standard of cattle hoof care are welcome. The benefits of membership include recognition for delivering a high standard of cattle hoof care that is fully regulated, free attendance to the annual CPD and standards days and mentoring for probationary members prior to qualification.