Lameness Scoring Indicators

You saw the video about identifying and scoring lameness earlier this week, now here’s the content to reiterate: New Zealand’s industry-standard Lameness Scoring System was created by DairyNZ, adapted from similar systems in the US and UK to suit New Zealand herds. Lameness is scored on six indicators - Walking speed: cows should be able to keep up with the herd at a walking pace similar to humans. Reduced speed will be more noticeable when cows are walking at their own pace back to the paddock. Walking rhythm: lameness will cause uneven or interrupted rhythm in a cow’s confident and fluid motion using all four legs. Stride length and foot placement: cows with lameness may have a short

Lameness Scoring

Identifying a lame cow can be tricky if you’re unsure of what you’re looking for. Check out this video, produced for DairyNZ’s Healthy Hoof Programme, which gives farmers a great visual aid not only to identify lame cows, but score lameness on a scale of zero to three. Learning to observe cows in the early stages of lameness, and treating them as soon as possible in The Wrangler, saves time and cost and is essential for animal welfare.


Despite the growing amount of awareness around bovine lameness, the causes are still many and varied, and often difficult to identify. Types of lameness fall into two categories: disease and injury. Less commonly, lameness can be caused by injuries higher up the leg or back including fractures, nerve damage, arthritis, ligament rupture, hip dislocation, spinal injury and mastitis. But the vast majority of injuries are found in the claw. Within the claw, lameness can result from white line disease, sole injury, abscess, bruising or septic arthritis. DairyNZ says poor cow management is responsible for many of the cases of bovine lameness in New Zealand, with an increase in staff training

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The Wrangler, design, logos, and name are subject to New Zealand patent 27337 and trademark 249494. 

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