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Zero lameness is not about never having a cow go lame. We know if there are cows, there will be a time when one of them will become lame. But how we respond to that event will determine whether that cow will become part of the chronic lameness problem our industry is experiencing.

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For the first time in over 40 years, updates to animal transport regulations were planned to take effect in February. However, an amendment provided for a two-year grace period until Feb. 20, 2022.

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Whether moving weaned calves into a new group or bringing springing heifers into the transition barn, many dairy producers have come to accept that a pen move will likely result in temporarily decreased feed intake, reduced gains or production, and the potential for a few sick or “off” animals.

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As long as a cow or calf is healthy and productive, she has good well-being, right?

No, not necessarily.

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In his fifth edition of Dairy Cattle and Milk Production published in 1939, Dr. Clarence Eckles reported that the “ratio between the human population and the number of cows in the United States had remained essentially the same since 1850.”

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The dairy industry has changed, and we’re changing with it. Consumers are looking for sustainable, environmentally friendly nutrition produced by people whose commitment to animal welfare and the environment are in line with their own.

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