Global Milk Quality Expert Forum meeting in Copenhagen sees lively discussion

Boehringer Ingelheim’s second Quality Milk Expert Forum entitled ‘What is the future of dry cow therapy?’ took place in January, hosted in Copenhagen and attended by delegates from around the world. Building on the success of the 2015 meeting, which took place in Mechelen, Belgium, the meeting aimed to gather together world experts on milk hygiene and udder health to share experiences and hear of some of the latest learnings.

global-milk-quality-expert-forumChaired by Dr Michael Farre, an independent veterinary consultant in Denmark, this year’s meeting had a focus on dry cow therapy with input from experts based in countries with very different management approaches.

Prompting the debate was the question ‘is dry cow therapy here to stay?’. This was followed with input from all on the future of dry cow therapy, and there was also some discussion around the role of diagnostics at the drying off period.

The opportunity to gather experts from Europe, South America, Australasia and Canada was significant for the global dairy industry, as their varied backgrounds and global-leading expertise allowed the group to come to a very fruitful debate on the future of dry cow therapy.

Attendees heard from four countries with wildly varying approaches to dry cow management and treatment, accompanied by a look forward five, 10 and 20 years.

In the afternoon of the first day, a discussion session with a milk processor, consumer and representative from the pharmaceutical industry led to animated discussions from all delegates.

Day two of the meeting examined the situation in Europe currently, in terms of current legislation and how new laws come into place. The group heard more about what is being discussed by decision-makers in various countries and discussed what may be incorporated into formal legislation. Delegates discussed some do’s and don’ts of lobbying and communications. All agreed that selecting the appropriate technical level of a conversation varies depending on audience. The take home messages from this session for many were ‘don’t get overly technical when speaking to legislators’ and ‘find the core message you want to communicate’. All agreed there were important lessons to learn in
farmer communications as well.

The next Global Milk Quality Expert Forum has been booked for Barcelona January 2017 and a report on the meeting is being prepared and will be shared soon.