World Buiatrics Congress has most successful year to date

With some 3,200 participants, this year’s World Buiatrics Congress (WBC 2016), held in Dublin between July 3rd and 8th, had its most successful year to date. The weeklong congress covered everything from bovine welfare to reproduction to vaccines and immunology. Of most relevance to M-2 readers, though, would be its focus on udder health and mastitis control programs. M-2 will be featuring data and case studies gathered at the congress in its magazine over the coming year.

Highlights for M-2 readers include a keynote session by Martin Green of the University of Nottingham who spoke on predictive biology as a possible control for mastitis in the future. Examples of predictive biology mentioned included cow susceptibility at the individual level, pathogen sub-species differentiation and clinical prediction using stochastic models. While the quantity of data and technology available on-farm continues to grow, opportunities to harness and make them useful do exist, said Green. It is important, though, to make sure that results are clear, relevant and accessible to the end user, he concluded.

The oral presentations on udder health also included a talk on the use of infrared thermography to diagnose mastitis in pre-partum dairy heifers by Patricia Simoes of the University of Glasgow, a talk on the effect of sampling techniques on microbial species in quarter milk samples by Mari Friman of the University of Helsinki, and a talk on the efficacy of topical treatment of udder cleft dermatitis by Tine van Werven of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Pamela Ruegg spoke at the World Buiatrics Congress in Dublin on the role of veterinarians in mastitis control programs.
Pamela Ruegg spoke at the World Buiatrics Congress in Dublin on the role of veterinarians in mastitis control programs.

In the afternoon, the focus shifted from udder health to mastitis control programs. The sessions were led by a keynote address by Pamela Ruegg of the University of Wisconsin who spoke on the role of veterinarians in udder health programs. Ruegg called upon attendees to reevaluate their role on dairy farms. While specialized workers and farm owners manage most of today’s farms, they do call upon veterinarians for the examination of pregnant and sick cows. Veterinarians could and should be playing a larger role, though, she said. “I haven’t seen an expert system that can replace a good cow person,” she said.

Look for lengthy stories on some of the WBC 2016 sessions in upcoming issues of M-2 Magazine.

Congress statistics

This year, WBC 2016 attendees were quite busy on social media, using the hashtag “#WBC2016” to generate over 9.1 million impressions and reaching a potential 2.2 million followers.

Number of countries: 78
Number of abstract submissions: 1,227
Number of oral presenters: 205
Number of poster presenters: 290
Number of keynote speakers: 33
Number of exhibitors: 64