Ecopneus, Ideaplast and AgriglobalServices launched an innovation dedicated to animal welfare that combines high level performance, quality, and sustainability, made of recycled and recyclable materials
The “CowShoes” in recycled and recyclable material are born from the encounter between the science of animal husbandry and the expertise of the footwear industry, which aims to correct lameness, a problem that affects more than 40% of cattle, and which today it represents the third cause of economic loss for dairy cattle farmers.
Lameness causes an altered gait of the bovine, resulting from a very painful stimulus that affects the rear feet of the animal, specifically affecting the external claw. The decline in welfare leads to a reduction in the ability to produce milk, thus causing serious economic and managerial damage for the farmer.
After a year of testing and experimentation, the collaboration between Ecopneus, the non-profit company main responsible for the management of End of Life Tires in Italy, and Ideaplast, a company specialising in the production of products in recycled plastic materials with a strong R&D component, was born a shoe for cattle able to improve the way of walking, produced with recycled and recyclable materials. Given the more than encouraging results, Agriglobal Services SCPA, a company in the livestock sector that deals with animal welfare, has decided to market it starting from January 2023.
“Research is fundamental in the recycling sector: the urgency of increasing product sustainability can only be addressed by investing effort and resources, finding new ways of using recycled materials – says Giorgio Pisano, Ecopneus’ market development manager. “To maximise the effort, we must continue to reduce the consumption of raw materials: thanks to our commitment, in 2021 the emission of 310 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent was avoided, a water consumption of almost 1.23 million m3 and a withdrawal of raw materials of 282 thousand tons “.
The “CowShoes” are made of Tyreplast, that is a compound of recyclable materials coming from the recycling of plastic and end-of-life tires; the compound allows the creation of innovative products capable of combining high level performance, quality, sustainability. All information is available on the website www.cowshoes.eu
Together with the “CowShoes”, the project partners also present ElliptiCOW, self-locking mattresses in recycled rubber for cattle beds. Thanks to the perforated structure, it is possible to fill the carpets first with sand and then with straw, making the cubicles of the cows more comfortable and drier. The bed remains warm in winter and cool in summer, to allow the animals a full rest. The optimal rest of the cows increases their well-being and milk production. The mats also make it possible to keep the cubicle in order with less use of labour by the breeder, ensures a high degree of hygiene of the station and prevents mastitis, infections, and injuries to the animal’s limbs.
“Elliptcow is produced with 100% recycled material, uses 55 kg of ELT granules and polyurethane resin. In addition to the environmental value, it also has a social value reports Marina Chittolina of AgriGlobal Services SCPA, the plant to make the mattress was designed from an inclusive perspective, so that it can be used easily by people with disabilities or belonging to disadvantaged categories.