British Mastitis Conference 2018

The 30th British Mastitis Conference was held on 7 November 2018, with a workshop on mastitis data management on the preceding day. There continues to be a number of non-UK based delegates attending, including the presentation of KT posters.The amount of companies sponsoring BMC remains high with, for the first time, two Platinum sponsors (Vetoquinol and MSD Animal Health). The conference is aimed particularly at veterinarians, farm consultants, research scientists, students and academics, in fact at anyone with an interest in dairy farming and mastitis. The organising and scientific committee bring together a mix of researchers and practitioners from both the UK and further afield, and for the 2018 conference speakers were invited from USA as well as the UK, with KT papers presented from Denmark, USA and the UK.

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The first speaker was Phil Elkin, Veterinary Surgeon, Westpoint Farm Vets, Cornwall, UK who presented his “Strategy for reducing antimicrobial use on dairy farms”. He acknowledged that there is an increasing pressure on agriculture in general, and the dairy sector specifically to reduce the use of antimicrobials. Phil highlighted that mastitis treatment and prevention represents the most numerically significant use of antimicrobials in the sector and as such, steps to reduce the use of antimicrobials for mastitis needed to be investigated and utilised. Antimicrobial use should also be rational and appropriate, which may, in fact, lead to an increase in antimicrobial use on a specific farm depending on which metric is used.

The primary route to reduction of antimicrobial use in mastitis is reduction of the rate of mastitis. Identifying the causal mastitis pattern, and then taking appropriate steps to reduce mastitis rate will often see the best return on investment. Other approaches which have attracted recent interest include selective dry cow therapy, and the use of

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