Brushes Could Reveal Cow Welfare and Health

ISRAEL - Automated scratching brushes could offer a route to early treatment of health and welfare problems, say welfare scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
calendar icon 23 January 2014
clock icon 1 minute read

Dairy cows use scratching brushes less when succumbing to ill health, a study in the Journal of Dairy Science suggests.

Researchers at the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine investigated changing behaviour patterns around automated brushes.

Next Step: Looking at the effect of specific illnesses on brush usage

The findings could assist farmers in detecting mastitis earlier.

The teams’ next stage is to explore the data in terms of specific health complaints.

Dr James Kirkwood, leader of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, which supported the study, was ‘delighted’ by the outcome.

He said the project constituted ‘significant advances in dairy cow welfare’ and that the benefits of the project could reach all dairying nations.

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