Bovine body art

 Using art to educate farmers about the welfare of their cows

A team from Scarsdale Vets – a veterinary group in the Midlands – have being using body art to educate farmers on the anatomy of their cattle as part of Dairy Day, an annual farming event full of classes, trade stands and demonstrations.

At the Scarsdale Vets stand, two Holstein calves were painted with non-toxic paint to illustrate the parts of their inner workings that farmers need to be aware of. The focus of the artwork was on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems and the internal organs: areas that can suffer from problems like bloating and damage. Highlighting and visualising these body parts could improve the welfare of the cows, at it helps cattle owners to identify problems in their livestock and take appropriate action.

Carolyn Baguley, senior farm assistant at Scarsdale Veterinary Group explains: “At Scarsdale we work with over 90 dairy farms and several hundred beef farms which are run by very knowledgeable farmers, but many have experienced various problems with their cattle. Through our painting, we want to raise awareness of bovine anatomy, enabling farmers to use knowledge gained from our live demonstration in the day-to-day management of their herds. Educating about anatomy and preventative health issues will help to increase the overall health of their livestock, and it’s fantastic that we can do this visually.”

The paint was water-soluble and washed away at the end of the day, but it’s hoped that the effects of the demonstration will be lasting ones. Have a look at the cows becoming art compositions below:

Photo credit: Scarsdale Vets