Development of control procedure to audit quality of claw trimming in cattle

Last changed: 25 October 2023

The aim of the project is to develop standards for claw trimming and protocols for quality audits of the claw trimming in the field in order to prevent claw disorders and lameness in cattle.

The development of the concept of the audit for claw trimming in field will consist of two parts: evaluation of criteria of claw trimming method by using biomechanical studies on the bovine claw under lab conditions; and establishing protocol for comprehensive, robust and timeefficient audit of claw trimming in the field. The state of the art biomechanical ex-vivo model of the bovine claw, which is newly invented, will be used to assess the functional consequences of major errors during claw trimming. The same model will be also used in a closely related project, already financed by the Swedish Board of Agriculture, which aims to estimate the most optimal trimming methods for different floors. The model is using cadaver limbs of cattle placed in a rig, which emulates the natural load situation during standing and walking of a cow. Ultrathin pressure sensors will be inserted between the sole and the weight bearing tissue in the lateral and medial claw i.e. at the edge of the corium-claw horn junction. Thus the model will allow to detect in which extent different trimming faults (e.g. excessive removal of heel horn, excessive removal of both axial and abaxial walls, excessively shortened toes and/or thin soles, poor balance between lateral and medial claws, insufficient modelling and etc.) will impact on the mechanical stress to the corium, which can predict damage and the development of lesions. Then, the repeatability and reproducibility of different claw shape measurements reflecting claw biomechanical function will be studied to estimate their suitability for time-efficient audit at the trimming under the field conditions. Standards for effective and animal-friendly audits will be established in collaboration with the advisory company Växa Sverige within their quality validated claw care program. The final protocol of the audit is planned to include different aspects of the claw trimming including biosecurity, animal handling, occupational safety, execution of preventive and therapeutic trimming and claw trimmer communication with farmers. A protocol for a standard audit of claw trimming in the field will then be tested and the farmer and claw trimming response on the audit will be examined.


The project is funded by: Formas

Duration of the project: 2019-2020

Project Leader: Evgenij Telezhenko

Other contributors: Ann Nyman, Christer Bergsten, Frida Åkerström