Research project Innovative tools to support preventive and curative claw care in dairy cattle


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Simon Cool

Simon Cool

Living Lab Agrifood Technology Coordinator


Main research question

The aim of this Vlaio LA-project was to significantly improve the approach to claw problems on Flemish dairy farms through innovative techniques. The focus was on the curative treatment of lame cows as well as periodic preventive claw care.

Research approach

The approach was situated at different levels:

The development of a self-learning image processing algorithm to detect claws and possible injuries based on thermal images and AI and to classify them as curative or preventive treatment.A thorough evaluation and adjustment of preventive claw care with a view to obtaining ideal pressure distribution within the claw. This evaluation is largely supported by the use of innovative high-tech techniques such as an RSscan pressure mat and a 3D scanner.Carrying out objective tests of claw bath products with a strong focus on Treponema and Mortellaro.Combining and distributing knowledge, among other things, via the cow sensor knowledge center: and developing an innovative learning tool for dairy farmers.


Dairy farmers still too often underestimate the claw problems and lameness status on their farm.

This project brought attention to claw care and its importance through a combination of innovative research and numerous training courses, demos, workshops and webinars for dairy farmers and the industry. The knowledge developed is permanently made available via

the claw care program of the outdoor practice of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicinethe Cow Sensor knowledge center managed by the HooibeekhoeveHoGent's innovation learning toolthe TEF (Test and Experimental Environment) of ILVOthe established Belgian claw care association