Dear colleagues and dear friends,
24 years after Parma 2000, the International Symposium and International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants (respectively the 14th and 22nd) returns to Italy. We are extremely grateful that in Tokyo friends and colleagues enthusiastically welcomed the Italian candidacy. Venice was chosen for various reasons, first of all for its atmosphere of mistery and magic which will make your stay pleasant and interesting.
Venice is the second tourist destination by number of visitors in Italy, after Rome, and has kept its structure and charm almost intact over the centuries. Built on more than 100 small islands, it is protected within a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea; there are no roads, but myriad of small and large canals lined with historic buildings and houses. It is possible to walk around its narrow streets or navigate its canals with the vaporetto or a gondola.
Capital of the Veneto region, it is only 15 minutes from a vast agricultural area having animal husbandry well developed, with dairy cows and fattening cattle farms. In the surrounding areas, close to the Alps, in addition to the Holstein Friesian, other breeds are also traditionally bred such as the Pezzata Rossa Friulana, the Grigio Alpina and the Brown Swiss which, with their quality milk, contribute to the varied production of cheeses typical of Italy.
The central themes of the conference will be the improvement of "mobility" and animal welfare, aspects closely connected to productivity and profitability.
Promoting "planet conservation" is the other issue, which has by now become pressing and with which we will deal often also in our sector. A theme which is currently a living matter. Climate changes, with the increase in average seasonal temperatures and the irregularity of rainfall, for example, create difficulties in the supply and quality of forage and can cause changes in the type of cultivation in certain areas; the need to improve cooling and comfort has become a necessity even in geographical areas where it had never been before (Northern Europe). Last but not least, the arduous and challenging problem of antimicrobial/antibiotic resistance, which is expected to cause a huge number of deaths in humans in the near future, due to untreatable infections: the most optimistic predictions are counting something as 450.000 deaths in Europe and about 10 million in the world, equal to the rate of deaths from cancer! Just to name a few examples of global importance which also strongly affect animal breeding and care.
In the latter case, in particular, the tools at our disposal to fight the soft tissue diseases of the foot or other conditions primarily or potentially infectious have been reduced, pushing, on the one hand, industry to search for alternative non-antibiotic products and, on the other side, the operators in the sector (vets, technicians, hoof trimmers, researchers...) to work more and better on the prevention of skin and subcutaneous tissues disorders and more.
With the awareness of all this, the conference will be structured with in-depth workshops on various topics of practical interest. Then there will be several keynote lectures on very relevant topics such as cow comfort, hoof trimming, infectious diseases, therapeutic options environmental friendly, new diagnostic tools (role of artificial intelligence against Digital Dermatitis) non-foot limb injuries and others… We will reserve a large space dedicated to free presentations and posters. The final day will be organized in a typical farm of the area with various practical workshops.
Furthermore, we have not overlooked a rich social program that will surely make your stay in the city of the Doges unforgettable.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we express our sincere gratitude for your kind attention to the "International Symposium and International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants 2024" and we warmly invite you in Venice.
Carlo Maria Mortellaro & Loris De Vecchis