Lameness in French feedlot cattle: establishing a knowledge base

Lameness is increasingly reported in French feedlot cattle, but farmers and their advisors lack the knowledge and appropriate solutions to control it. In this project, designed in partnership with the French livestock Institute, large-scale epidemiological studies will be conducted to establish and disseminate knowledge on lameness in French feedlot cattle.

Photo credits: Anne Relun

Description of the project

Almost half of beef calves and 14% of dairy calves are fattened indoor as feedlot cattle in France. Lameness is increasingly reported in those animals, and is the commonest source of economic loss and a primary cause of reduced animal welfare in some fattening units. Due to the lack of basic available information, difficulties in observation and restraint, lameness is probably underestimated and inadequately managed by farmers, with frequent use of antibiotic as first-line treatment and absence of analgesia. In addition, control strategies rely currently only on extrapolation from dairy cattle knowledge, while the origins of lameness and key control factors might be different and require the implementation of specific measures.

The FEEDLAME project aims to provide and disseminate knowledge on lameness in French feedlot cattle. Observational epidemiological studies will be conducted to:

       (i)     characterize the relative prevalence of type, severity and location of foot lesions

       (ii)     explore factors associated with foot lesions

       (iii)    estimate their impact on production traits and

       (iv)    evaluate the perception of farmers regarding feedlot lameness, identify their practices and expectations as well as motivators and barriers for lameness control.

This project will raise awareness among all the actors of the sector about the clinical and economical importance of lameness in feedlot cattle, promote the rational use of antibiotics, and provide first relevant measures to better control lameness in those animals. It will also provide basic knowledge that is essential for the design of further scientific studies. Regarding industrial innovation potential, this project will facilitate further multi-partner studies aiming at assessing solutions adapted to indoor feedlot cattle to better detect and control lameness.


Institut de l’Elevage (Idele - French Livestock Institute)


Carnot France Futur Elevage

Persons involved in the unit

Nadine Brisseau ; Raphaël Guatteo ; Sarah Ishak (PhD) ; Anne Lehébel ; Guillaume Morgant ; Anne Relun 

Contact person

Anne Relun : anne.relun@oniris-nantes.fr


None at the moment.



Other information

None at the moment.

Modification date : 11 September 2023 | Publication date : 02 May 2023 | Redactor : AR