Zinpro Corporation recently announced the establishment of the Step-Up™ Management Program for the beef cattle industry. Developed by Zinpro Corporation, in conjunction with the Beef Cattle Institute and Kansas State University, the Step-Up Management Program provides a systematic approach to identify and manage beef cattle lameness.
Impacting all segments of the beef industry, lameness continues to be an important issue in feedlot cattle. It's an animal-welfare concern as well as a health issue, and it is often more prevalent than beef producers recognize.
"The Step-Up Management Program was developed to help elevate beef cattle lameness management throughout the industry," says Dan Thomson, DVM, Director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University. "We partnered with Zinpro Corporation to design this unique program in order to help beef producers, veterinarians and nutritionists improve the well-being of their cattle."
The focus of Step-Up is on education, especially in areas where lameness is not commonly considered to be prevalent. It provides resource materials focused on lameness scoring and lesion identification, as well as industry-leading lameness prevention, management and treatment protocols.
A cornerstone of the Step-Up program is the introduction of a new four-point locomotion scoring system specifically developed for beef cattle. Locomotion scoring is based on the observation of cattle walking (gait), with emphasis on head bob and stride length. The system uses a simple 0 to 3 scale to assess the severity of lameness in beef cattle (0 = normal; 1 = mild lameness; 2 = moderate lameness; 3 = severe lameness).
"We created the new Step-Up locomotion scoring system to make lameness identification a simple process for beef producers," says Connie Larson, Ph.D., Ruminant RNS Manager - North America, Zinpro Corporation. "Zinpro has a long-standing commitment to lameness education. This locomotion scoring system is a continuation of that effort as an important tool to help producers track changes in lameness prevalence within the operation."
To learn more about locomotion scoring beef cattle, contact your Zinpro representative and visit the Step-Up video library on zinpro.com. Educational posters for beef cattle locomotion scoring and lesion identification are available for request from Zinpro Corporation.