DOWN cows can be some of the most difficult and frustrating bovine cases to manage. Any veterinary surgeon who has spent time in farm animal practice will recall down cows that refuse to stand despite declarations of a positive prognosis. Conversely, there are animals that, in spite of the veterinary surgeon's assertions that the case is completely hopeless and should be euthanased, rise apparently effortlessly to their feet after five days or more. This article reviews the aetiology, assessment, management and prevention of recumbency in cattle against the backdrop of decreasing availability of farm labour and staff time to manage cases and the recent end of the over‐30‐months slaughter scheme.
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