In recent decades, animal production in Greece has been growing rapidly due to the increasing demand for animal products. This demand has led to a transition from traditional to intensive farming systems with the aim of enhancing production. Cattle, being one of the most significant livestock species, play a crucial role in the country’s economic development. However, the consequence of these changes is the emergence of unknown health issues or the exacerbation of existing ones, primarily due to the improper management of intensively reared animals.
One such problem is the increased frequency of lameness, particularly in animals that remain confined throughout the year. Lameness is a decisive factor in distress, often painful, significantly compromising both the well-being and the reduction of milk production, estrus, and consequently, the reproduction of diseased animals in case of late disease detection. This results in the mandatory slaughter of the animal, with serious immediate and indirect economic consequences for the enterprise.
The late diagnosis of lameness is attributed to the applied detection methods, mainly based on the visual observation of the animal’s mobility by the producer, a method that almost excludes the detection of the problem at an early stage. The goal of the initiative is to establish, initially in Greek livestock data, a new lameness detection system in its early stages, based on the movement parameters of the animals, in order to avoid economic impacts due to production loss for livestock units.