Normal joint function is important for animal welfare as it is a prerequisite for a mobile life without pain. Joint inflammation, often a sequel of osteochondrosis, commonly located in the stifle in beef bulls can have a substantial impact on the fertility of beef sires.
This pilot study aims to develop and evaluate a diagnostic method, based on ultrasonography, for joint disease in breeding bulls. In a stepwise manner, we will develop the method on slaughterhouse material, test it under controlled conditions on live animals and finally under field conditions on bulls in a commercial beef herd.
The goal is to include the method as a tool for evaluation of orthopaedic soundness in order to add this examination to the bull breeding soundness evaluation. The overall aim is to detect beef bulls with joint pathology that should be excluded from the breeding programs. This would not only prevent joint pain and suffering for the animals but also guarantee a sustainable beef production.