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Effect of training on the inter-observer reliability of lameness scoring in dairy cattle

By S. March, J. Brinkmann, C. Winkler

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In the present study, the effect of training on inter-observer reliability was studied for a 5-category lameness scoring system used for routine on-farm surveys of welfare in dairy cattle. The inter-observer agreement between an experienced and an initially inexperienced observer was determined during an initial training phase and at specific time points in the course of data collection in 46 herds. During the training phase on three farms, inter-observer reliability increased to an acceptable level for both the 5-category gait scoring system and the distinction between lame and non-lame cows. The 4th testing after 17 on-farm visits revealed a considerable increase in inter-observer reliability which was further improved in the course of the on-farm visits. In conclusion, acceptable inter-observer agreement for differentiating between non-lame and lame cows was achieved after only a brief introduction. In order to obtain high inter-observer repeatability with the 5-category gait scoring system used in this study, (more) intensive training procedures are required.

Date 2007
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 16
Issue 2
Pages 131-133
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Research Centre for Animal Production and Technology, Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Driverstrasse 22, 49377 Vechta, Germany.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal diseases
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Cattle
  5. Dairy animals
  6. data
  7. Education
  8. Gait
  9. Information
  10. Lameness
  11. Mammals
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. repeatability
  14. scoring systems
  15. surveys
  16. training
  1. peer-reviewed