From our previous research we have identified that farmers who maintain accurate treatment records are far better at controlling lameness because they can plan and make strategic management decisions. We identified that many sheep farmers have and use smartphones. Consequently, we have designed a prototype smartphone application (app).
With funding from BVA-AWF and AHDB, we are developing this app further to collect data, analyse it and to present the data as farmer friendly reports. With information on their individual flock performance at regular intervals, farmers will be able to take appropriate action, for example, planned culling of repeatedly lame sheep and identifying an excessive number of cases of granulomas indicating over-trimming of feet. With summary information on other flocks, farmers will be able to benchmark themselves against national trends. Alongside this will be key electronic messages and information sheets as printable PDFs on how to manage lameness targeted to farmers based on their particular issues.
We are currently pilot testing the app and developing the online portal. When the app becomes available we will provide more information on how to access it on this page.