Management

Management

Dairy farming in Oceania

William Smits had the opportunity to travel around few of the main milk producing regions of New Zealand and Australia and have a closer look at the way cows are milked from the perspective of milking efficiency, milk quality and udder health. He shares his impressions and findings based on observing milking sessions and doing wet testing in 17 farms, and discussions with the farmers, the milking system dealers and his colleagues at DeLaval.

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Management

Moving away from blanket dry cow therapy and supporting the adoption of selective dry cow therapy in Ireland – key messages from CellCheck.

The majority of antimicrobial use on dairy farms is for mastitis treatment and prevention. Dry cow antibiotic therapy (DCT) is the administration of long acting intramammary antibiotics at the time of dry off. This practice gained widespread implementation in the 1960’s as part of the ‘five-point plan’. Blanket dry cow therapy, which involves treatment of all quarters of all cows at dry-off, has been commonplace in Ireland for many years. However, the recent European Veterinary Medicines Regulation (2019/6) and the requirement to use antibiotics more prudently, means that preventive antibiotic usage in groups of animals, including dairy cows at the end of their lactation, is no longer acceptable. Only those animals with diagnostic evidence or a clinical diagnosis of infection at drying off should receive an antibiotic. This is known as selective DCT (SDCT). A key aim of the recent legislation is to protect human health, and to keep antimicrobials, – in particular antibiotics, working to treat disease. When antimicrobial resistance (AMR) develops and spreads, then antibiotics can no longer be relied upon to treat disease in people or animals. AMR is a serious global public health threat with potentially devastating consequences for us and our families.

Adopting a selective approach to dry cow treatment will require both a change in mindset and practice for many Irish farmers and their prescribing veterinary practitioners. To facilitate this change, CellCheck, the Irish national mastitis control programme, developed a Dry Cow Consult a number of years ago. The objective of this Dry Cow Consult was to enable farmers to engage with their trained nominated vet to develop farm-specific selective dry cow treatment (SDCT) plans, where appropriate.

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Photo 8. Freshly calved cow with acute Escherichia coli mastitis
Management

Establishing the bacterial cause of clinical mastitis through questioning

When a herd has a problem with clinical mastitis it is very helpful to have accurate mastitis records and bacteriology results to establish the cause of the infection. Computerised records that allow easy mastitis analysis are invaluable. In most developed dairy countries farmers are required to keep accurate mastitis records, however, in other dairy areas records might be missing or inaccurate. Some farmers carry out regular bacteriology sampling from clinical cases while others might have none. An accurate diagnosis of the bacteria causing mastitis allows targeted steps to resolve the problem. It is helpful to be able to breakdown mastitis infections into contagious and/or environmental, lactation and/or dry period infections and the specific bacteria causing mastitis.

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Management

What we have learned about mastitis therapy in lactation over the last few years

History of overtreatment – In a large German study from 2019 – conducted before resistance testing became mandatory before the use of critical antibiotic agents in veterinary medicine in Germany – mastitis therapy in Germany was described based on the responses of 499 surveyed farmers/milkers/herd managers.

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In picture: Olivier Salat, Volker Krömker, Sofie Piepers, Ilka Klaas, Renata Travaglini, Leo Timms, Kees Bos, Sophie Couery, Helena Hakansson, Lisa-Marie Sandberg, Lisa Harris, Åsa Lundberg, Mario Lopez, Nathalie Albrecht, Aiga Avotina, Daryl Van Nydam (not pictured)
Management

European experts launch new guidelines for successful dry periods for dairy cows

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Management

CellCheck – the story so far

At the end of 2019, Animal Health Ireland (AHI) celebrated its 10th anniversary. It was an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made over that time, in animal health in Irish cattle herds, both dairy and beef. AHI was established in 2009, as a not-for-profit organisation, taskedRead more

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Swabbing teats just before units are attached to check on teat preparation
Management

My approach to reducing clinical mastitis

This is the first of two articles on approaches to reducing clinical mastitis and somatic cell counts that this author has used for many years. It has proved successful provided the farmer engages in the process. Of course, there are other successful approaches that can be taken. This article willRead more

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Q-Llet co-owner and veterinarian Demetrio Herrera Mateo in the milking parlour
Management

Q-Llet vet services improves milk quality in Spain

As dairy farms decrease in number but grow in size, management styles shift, and so too does the role of the veterinarian. In Spain, where herd size has increased steadily over the past decades, veterinarians focus on bettering milk quality and preventing mastitis through improved management protocol. Q-Llet co-owner andRead more

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