The overall goals of this thesis were to picture the antimicrobial consumption (AMC) on dairy herds in Flanders, to identify associated factors and to explore whether AMC, udder health and milk quality can be influenced by intensive follow up.
The first study revealed that the average antimicrobial use was 20.78 defined daily dose animal (DDDA) per 1,000 cow-days, ranging from 8.68 to 41.62 DDA between herds. Large variation was also present in the use of for human health critically important antimicrobials. About two third of the total antimicrobials were used intramammary. On herds with a low total AMC, the majority of antimicrobials was typically used intramammary for dry-cow therapy while on herds with a high total AMC mainly intramammary antimicrobials for mastitis therapy or (long acting) systemic products (without withdrawal time for milk) were used. The AMC was negatively associated with the incidence rate of treated mastitis cases and to a lesser extent with the use of selective dry cow therapy, and was positively associated with the prevalence of heifers on the herd.
In a second part of the thesis, the use of selective dry-cow therapy was confirmed as being associated with lower AMC. Moreover, herds where (some)
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