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Livestock Event 2014: Farm Health Planning Seminars

The Farm Health Planning seminars at the Livestock Event provided the platform for farmers and their vets to team up to share how they proactively addressed some of the common and challenging health issues found on beef and dairy units.

Boehringer Ingelheim sponsored the Managing Mastitis: Maximising Cow Defences against Infection seminar; which was led by Chris Hudson of Nottingham University and accompanied by farm manager Gareth Stafford.

Understanding mastitis patterns on farm is key to targeting the most effective solution. “The secret of good cure rates and mastitis control is not in a tube or bottle; it is about how you manage the cows.”

Mr Hudson and Mr Stafford identified most mastitis cases originated from the dry period. Previously, the block of spring calving cows and heifers were dried off and out-wintered on Kale and fodder beat, respectively. But Mr Stafford said the conditions were “testing”. Now, cows are dried off in groups of six or seven and after a few days are housed in a bigger group along with 50 dry cows in an empty silage pit. They’re bedded down three times a day and cleaned out once a week.

Bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC) has been lowered from over 250,000 to less than 150,000 cells/ml. The parlour routine has also been simplified and antibiotic use has been reduced. Only high SCC cows receive dry cow therapy. Anything with a SCC of over 100,000 cells/ml receives an antibiotic combined with a teat sealant, but cows under this level just get a sealant.

As well as this, mastitis cure rates have improved to an impressive 65% as a result of cows being picked up sooner.

Mr Hudson said “Detection of mastitis cases is really critical. It is incredibly important to spot early as cases not picked up until the second milking reduce the chances of being cured by 50%”.

The Livestock event attracts more than 460 exhibitors covering 11 unique product zones. Exhibitors are on hand during the two-day event to demonstrate all-new equipment, products and services to over 16,000 UK and International livestock farmers. For more information on the Livestock event visit www.livestockevent.co.uk

An educational service from Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, Vetmedica Division, the makers of Metacam®, Bovikalc®, Ubrolexin®, Ubro Yellow®, Ubro Red® and Mamyzin®.

Advice on the use of Metacam, Bovikalc or other therapies should be sought from your veterinary surgeon. Metacam contains meloxicam, UK: POM-V IE: POM. Bovikalc contains calcium chloride and calcium sulphate and is not a veterinary medicine which is subject to authorisation by the Irish Medicines Board. Further information available from Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, Vetmedica Division, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8YS, UK. Email: vetmedica.uk@boehringer-ingelheim.com | Web: www.boehringer-ingelheim.co.uk

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Date of preparation: Jul 2013. AHD 7729. Use Medicines Responsibly (www.noah.co.uk/responsible)