The annual National Mastitis Council regional meeting has been held at the University of Ghent in Belgium. On the last day of the meeting, DeLaval held an industry seminar entitled “Proper Milk Extraction: Methods and Technologies”.
During its first-ever meeting in Europe the National Mastitis Council (NMC) took place in Belgium. The hosts were the University of Ghent in the historic city of Ghent. Some 41,000 students are enrolled at the University of Ghent, which is comprised of 11 Faculties, including the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and with 120 Departments including the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety.
The majority of the meeting took place within the university’s assembly hall, the Aula Magna. The hall and the main lecture theatre are of a neo-classical design by the 19th Century Belgian architect, Louis Roelandt and completed in 1826.
The meeting was organized in two parts – a scientific program and a technical program. Registrants were also able to go on excursions to a dairy farm and to a cheese factory. Attendees came from near and far with almost 700 attendees and over 40 different countries represented.
Although he has yet to declare final numbers, first time NMC organiser Sarne De Vliegher from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at University of Ghent, suspects that it might be the NMC’s best-attended regional meeting to date. De Vliegher was extremely pleased, believing that the mixture of scientific, technical and social events were key to the success of the meeting.
NMC President, John Middleton from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in USA said “We hope that attendees continue their involvement with the NMC after the meeting or that they maintain an existing membership”, adding “Most of all, we hope they enjoyed the conference and took home some new knowledge!”
The scientific program was filled with informative updates on treatment programs, dry cow management, immunity and mastitis. The technical program contained short courses and industry seminars.
DeLaval’s seminar was entitled “Proper Milk Extraction: Methods and Technologies”. Speakers included Andrew Bradley who presented “Teat preparation, procedure and cleaning, Disinfection options”; Nils Älveby who spoke on “Liner type and impact on teat health, milk yield and milking performance; and Rupert Bruckmaier who reported on the effects of “Vacuum dynamics on milking, teat condition and udder health”. The seminar was brought to a close with Tom Hemling delivering his presentation on “Post-milking disinfection – option, opportunities and issues.”
Seminar moderator and DeLaval’s Dairy Development Director Charlotte Hallén Sandgren is clear on why DeLaval was an enthusiastic participant in the NMC. “NMC is international and looks closely at milk quality and emphasizes the importance of further education and training for its members. For instance, this year there was a lot focus on the reduction of antibiotic use in cattle and what that will entail, which is an important issue for the dairy industry. It’s about knowledge sharing, something that we try and do at DeLaval”. Nils Älveby, Polymers Specialist at DeLaval agrees with this point. “NMC events are popular with veterinarians who work very closely with farmers and when they share their insights the meeting becomes a forum for us as a company to better understand the needs of dairy producers.”