9. Advice and management and 11. The dry period

Time: Thursday 16th May 11:00-12:30 hrs
Venue: Meeting room "Sankt Hans Torv"
Moderator: Päivi Rajala-Schultz


O9-1 - On farm trainings: a good solution for all dairy operations

11:00-11:15 hrs


Snorri Sigurdsson, China-Denmark Milk Technology Cooperation Centre
Wang Jinhui, China-Denmark Milk Technology Cooperation Centre



In 2012 the dairy companies Mengniu Dairy and Arla Foods founded a joint venture named China-Denmark Milk Technology Cooperation Centre (CDMTCC) that has the purpose of promoting and transferring Danish knowledge and practices to China and to act as a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing between companies, authorities, organizations, and scientific institutions.


To deliver the knowhow and knowledge many different methods have been tried like expert meetings, seminars, re-educational courses, newsletters, on farm trainings etc. Many dairy farms have several thousands of cows and up to 20.000 and because of their size, the number of employees is quite big. Those farms have the possibility to have employee teams that can be specialized in narrow fields of work. By training those teams at the farms, the improvement can be profound and consistent in a degree that is difficult obtain at farms with fewer employees.


CDMTCC has been in charge of many on farm training sessions and the results show that they have always positive impact on the participating dairy farm, despite the farm size. One might think that the bigger farms would show better results than the smaller farms because of the special and narrow field of work for each employee, but the data show that the bigger farms are more difficult to change than farms with about one thousand cows and less. The main reason for this slow reaction at bigger farms has been connected to too complicated management system, that is not used for farms with fewer dairy cows.


Based on the experience by CDMTCC, the on farm training can be highly recommended. However to obtain good results at bigger dairy operations it is essential that the management team is aligned and adapted to the message given in the training session. If done so, the on farm training sessions lead to quicker improvement of the farm operation through better animal health, welfare and production.


O9-2 - Succesful development of an udder health control program in Bangladesh

11:15-11:30 hrs


Marjolein Derks, Wageningen University and Research, Farm Technology Group, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Md. Ahasanul Hoque, Department of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Khulshi, Chittagong, Bangladesh-4225
Gerrit Koop, Department of Farm Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 7, 3584 CL, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Md. Mizanur Rahman, Department of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Khulshi, Chittagong, Bangladesh-4225


Small scale dairying is important for the rural economy in Bangladesh, especially for marginalized poor people. Mastitis is a common problem in cross-bred dairy cows in Bangladesh. It causes considerable losses and threatens food safety. In many countries, udder health control programs (UHCP) have been developed, but to our knowledge, no UHCP specific for developing countries (like Bangladesh) existed. During this 3-year project we created a sustainable, multidisciplinary collaboration between mastitis researchers and veterinarians from Bangladesh and Europe. With this team, we aimed to develop a UHCP that was tailored for Bangladesh. We used the existing scientific literature and consulted international mastitis experts, to evaluate the currently available mastitis management and control measures for their applicability in the dairy sector in Bangladesh. Gaps in knowledge were filled by collecting relevant field data through two master students' projects. We organized two scientific international workshops: one at the beginning of the project, aiming to collect relevant information and a second, more practical workshop, at the end of the project, aiming to disseminate the UHCP within the Bangladesh veterinary community, policy makers and farmers. Important outcomes of the project were: an informative webpage (www.uhb.org.bd), a very popular Facebook-group, printed udder health manuals in the local language as well as in English, and practical and theoretical training of veterinarians, (postgraduate) students, farmers and researchers. Currently, the training program is running in Bangladesh. This collaborative project contributes to more sustainable and profitable dairy farming in Bangladesh and thus to poverty alleviation, but also serves as an example of a systematic, evidence-based approach for animal disease control in a developing country. Altogether, we can conclude that we have successfully launched the first ever UHCP in Bangladesh.


O9-3 - Countdown MQ : building mastitis investigatory capability in Australia

11:30:11:45 hrs


Mark Humphris, The Milk Road / Dairy Australia


Countdown MQ is Dairy Australia's new innovative 12 month training program that brings together mixed professional groups (milking machine technicians, dairy processor field staff and veterinarians) to build their capability in mastitis and milk quality investigations and also improving milk safety. Training in mixed professional groups increases consistency of messaging and fosters collegiality and respect allowing a team approach to investigating mastitis problems. Learning objectives were developed and now guide farmer focussed outcomes. Using an online learning platform with readings, quizzes, and videos have optimised face to face learning times. A focus on consultation techniques and communication using motivational interviewing techniques have also been incorporated to improve practice change on farms.


O9-4 - CellCheck Milking for Quality awards-recognising excellence in udder health on Irish farms

11:45-12:00 hrs


Mc Coy F. , Animal Health Ireland, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland
Dwyer G., Animal Health Ireland, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland
Fenlon C., University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Downey J., Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Dublin, Ireland
Woods V., Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Dublin, Ireland
Byrne R., Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Dublin, Ireland
Redmond A., Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Dublin, Ireland


While Ireland is a relatively small dairy producer in global terms, producing only 1.1% of the world's milk, the importance of the sector to the Irish economy is significant, particularly from an export perspective. In 2017, the total value of dairy exports was over €4.6 billion, which was an 18% increase over the 2016 value and a 78% increase since 2010. Consequently product quality, both raw and processed, is paramount. CellCheck, the Irish national mastitis control programme, was launched in late 2010, in response to both industry's and farmers' concerns about the ongoing challenge of milk quality and mastitis control. One of the key activities of the CellCheck programme is the CellCheck Milking for Quality Awards, which helps build awareness and recognises excellence in udder health on Irish farms.

At the start of each year the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine collects data on the volume of all milk collected from each supplier and the related somatic cell count (SCC) results, directly from 15 participating processors/co-ops. This database contains information on over 95% of the milk supplied in Ireland. A weighted annual average SCC is calculated for each supplier in the database, and all suppliers with at least 9 months of supply data are considered eligible for the awards. The award is given to the 500 milk suppliers nationally with the lowest, weighted annual average SCC for the previous year's supply, with a national event held to celebrate their achievements.

The awards are now entering their sixth year and each year to date the standards have improved, with the highest annual average SCC of the winners falling from 103,000 cells/mL in the first year to 72,000 cells/mL in 2018. In addition to the "Best 500" awards, two new discussion group categories were introduced for 2018, 'Most Improved Group' and 'Best SCC Group'.

The establishment of this national SCC database which enables the delivery of these awards has also been invaluable in monitoring national progress in udder health. Analysis of the dataset shows that 71% of milk supplied in Ireland in 2017 had an SCC of 200,000 cells/mL or less, compared to 46% in 2013. While it is encouraging to see sustained progress nationally, it is also interesting to see continual progress in the farms that already demonstrate excellent udder health. The awards have been a very positive initiative, and are a source of great pride for the winning farmers and the co-ops they supply. To date, all processors submitting SCC data have been represented on the list of winners annually. The national dataset also holds huge potential for further exploration and understanding of udder health and milk supply trends in Ireland, provided some current data sharing challenges can be addressed.


O9-5 - Selective dry cow treatment based on farm evidence

12:00-12.15 hrs


Friedman S, Israel Dairy Board (IDB), Udder Health & Milk Quality, Caesarea, Israel
Shwimmer A, Israel Dairy Board (IDB), Udder Health & Milk Quality, Caesarea, Israel
Minis D, Israel Dairy Board (IDB), Udder Health & Milk Quality, Caesarea, Israel
Shainin S, Hachaklait & Koret Vet. School, Bet Dagan, Israel
Lavon Y, Israel Cattle Breeders Association (ICBA), Caesarea, Israel


Selective dry-off cow treatment (SDCT) requires time, care and different methods to identify the infected/healthy udder/quarter. Most dairy farmers choose treatment based only on a CMT test performed at the quarter level (Sen.= 45%, Spe.=71%) or rely on the most recent DHI SCC score on cow level (Sen.=49%, Spe.=74%). As neither method has the sensitivity to allow us to identify all infected cows/quarters, the challenge facing dairy farmers is to find a more sensitive evidence-based method to achieve optimal treatment and decide on how and when to use, or not to use, SDCT. Data was collected from 558 farms that performed DHI during 2017. Nearly 1.2 million tests were analyzed, giving an SCC cut-off point of the cows examined throughout the year. The farms were divided according to their annual SCC levels and the percentage of "healthy cows" in each lactation group at levels 1, 2, 3 and above. When SCC levels in a herd were <200,000 cells/mL, the "healthy cow" ratio was high (80.5%), and SDCT at the quarter level was recommended for the entire herd. Where the herd SCC score was >300,000, nearly 40% of cows were identified by the system as "infected cows" (>200,000 SCC) and it was recommended to perform SDCT in first lactation cows or not at all. On one farm, 310 cows had SDCT treatment at the quarter level based also on the cow's mastitis history, CMT, and mastitis pathogens. Four options were used at the quarter level: no treatment at all; antibiotic treatment; teat sealant only; combined treatment of antibiotics and a teat sealant. It was found that the fourth treatment (the "combo") increased the chances of preventing a new infection 5-fold and raised the recovery rate by 2.4 vis-à-vis those treated with antibiotics alone. This study suggests that SDCT can be chosen initially purely on the results of the last DHI SCC level for each herd, and that this data can be used to predict the "healthy" groups of cows in the herd at each SCC level and select the parity at which SDCT can be more successfully recommended. This practice requires milk sampling a week prior to drying off and data from the last DHI SCC, CMT test and physical examination on the drying off day (Sen.=77%, Spe.=46%). SDCT based on herd evidence cut the use of antibiotics (>25%) while also maintaining good udder health.


O9-6 - Cow and quarter selection for dry cow therapy using the Rapid Mastitis Test

12:15-12:30 hrs


S. McDougall
J. Williamson
J. Lacy-Hulbert

Cognosco, AnexaFVC, PO Box 21, Morrinsville, 3300, New Zealand
DairyNZ Ltd., Private Bag 3221, Hamilton, 3240, New Zealand


Mastitis prevention and therapy is the major reason for antimicrobial usage in dairy cows. Intramammary infusion of antimicrobials into each quarter of each cow at the end of lactation (blanket dry cow therapy; DCT) may result in overuse, as many quarters are uninfected at drying off. Conversely, antimicrobial treatment of only those glands likely to be infected (selective DCT) reduces antimicrobial use; however, lack of cow-level SCC data may limit the ability to select cows for treatment. The Rapid (or Californian) Mastitis Test (RMT) may be an alternative method to select likely infected quarters. Hence, the study objective was to assess the use of RMT to select quarters for DCT.

All cows (n=1,775) from 4 seasonal-calving, pasture-based herds were ranked on last herd test SCC and randomly assigned to be infused with either 1) 500 mg cloxacillin DCT (Orbenin DC, Zoetis New Zealand Limited) into all four quarters of a cow if the cow-level SCC was >200,000 cells/mL (SCC-group), or 2) DCT only into those quarters where the RMT score was ?Trace (RMT-group). All glands of all cows were also infused with an internal teat sealant (Teat seal, Zoetis New Zealand Limited). Quarter-level milk samples were collected for microbiology at dry off and within 4 days after subsequent calving.

Treatment based on RMT resulted in greater antimicrobial use than selection based on SCC (64% vs 26% of quarters), but less than if blanket DCT had been used. Quarters assigned to the RMT-group had a higher bacteriological cure proportion than those assigned to the SCC-group (0.95 (95% CI 0.92-0.97) versus 0.90 (95% CI 0.87-0.93), P=0.048), as well as a lower new infection rate (0.032 (95% CI 0.025-0.038) versus 0.044 (95% CI 0.036-0.051), P=0.016). Nevertheless, there was no difference in clinical mastitis incidence rate in the first 30 days of the subsequent lactation. Thus, RMT enables the use of selective DCT in herds that do not have cow-level SCC data from herd testing.



P52 - ZellDiX - A new approach to assess udder health by using DHI results and cell differentiation


Gass, E., German Association for Performance and Quality Testing, Bonn, Germany
Bartel, A., Institute for Veterinary Epidemiology and Biostatisticts, Free University. Berlin, Germany
Onken, F., German Association for Performance and Quality Testing, Bonn, Germany
Baumgartner, C., Bavarian Association for Raw Milk Testing, Wolnzach, Germany
Querengässer, F., Institute for Veterinary Epidemiology and Biostatisticts, Free University Berlin, Germany
Doherr, M., Institute for Veterinary Epidemiology and Biostatisticts, Free University Berlin, Germany


Management of udder health is a challenging aspect on every dairy farm. In Germany, six udder health keys are computed based on the monthly cell count results from DHI testing. Provided in a monthly report, they are a useful tool to reflect the current udder health status. However, to our knowledge, there are no standardized indicators available based on DHI results to predict the individual status of udder health in the future.

The German ZellDiX project aims to enhance the informative value of DHI results by evaluating the additional value of differential somatic cell count (DSCC) and by establishing prognostic key figures for udder health. Using a new generation of high throughput devices, SCC as well as cell differentiation was routinely analyzed from DHI samples taken over a period of 1.5 years from approx. 627,000 animals in Bavaria as well as from 139,000 animals partly from robot farms in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Berlin-Brandenburg, an experiment including 2,800 animals was conducted over a period of 5 months: SCC and cell differentiation were analyzed from DHI samples as well as from quarter level samples of the same animals. Additionally, mastitis pathogens were identified. Based on the collected DHI data, two key figures were established considering different initial SCC. In the case of currently > 100,000 cells/ml, the individual probability for elevated cell counts in the next two months is predicted. Whereas in the case of currently < 100,000 cells/ml, the probability for stable udder health with low cell counts in the next two months is predicted. By providing the probability for different outcome scenarios, farmers would be able to rank their animals according to high or low risk and prioritize their effort. Results from the current data evaluation of quarter milk samples will serve as reference to results of the DHI samples and give detailed insight into actual processes in the udder and the further value of cell differentiation in practice.


P53 - Dynamics of the within-herd prevalence of Mycoplasma bovis IMI in large dairy herds


Anri Aino Elisa Timonen, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia
Jørgen Katholm, DNA Diagnostic A/S, Risskov, Denmark
Anders Petersen, DNA Diagnostic A/S, Risskov, Denmark
Kerli Mõtus, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia
Piret Kalmus, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia


Mycoplasma (M.) bovis causes intramammary infection (IMI) in dairy cows, but the dynamics of the within-herd prevalence of M. bovis IMI is not well studied. We aimed to identify the dynamics of the within-herd prevalence of M. bovis IMI in endemically infected dairy herds and to estimate the risk of shedding M. bovis with colostrum.

During a six-month period, individual cow composite milk samples (CMS) were collected 3 times from 4 dairy herds (number of cows over 500) with known history of M. bovis IMI. At first collection, CMS were pooled for 5 cow´s pools. At the second and third sampling, CMS of 20 cows were pooled in Herds III and IV and CMS of 100 cows in Herds I and II. Colostrum samples (n = 1264) were collected from all dairy cows at the first milking after calving and were analysed as pools of 10 cows. Samples were analysed for M. bovis DNA with qPCR test kit Mastitis 4B (DNA Diagnostic A/S). Within-herd prevalence of M. bovis IMI was calculated with Epitools (© 2019 Ausvet) for fixed pool size and uncertain sensitivity and specificity. Test Se was set to be 95% and Sp 99.95% for pool sizes of up to 20 individual samples. For pools of 100 cows, Se of 77% and Sp of 99.95% were used. In Herd I and II within-herd prevalence of M. bovis IMI at first testing was 1.1% (95% CI 0.13-2.10) and 0.7% (95% CI 0.2.3-1.1), respectively. At following sample collections, these farms had within-herd prevalence of 0.00% (95% CI 0.0-0.01). In Herd III the within-herd prevalence was 7.4% (95% CI 4.69-10.15), 2.7% (95% CI 0.96-4.42) and 1.3% (95% CI 0.14-2.43) and in Herd IV 3.8% (95% CI 2.44-5.07), 1.3% (95% CI 0.47-2.05) and 3.3% (95% CI 1.87-4.80) in the three sample collections, respectively. The prevalence of M. bovis in colostrum samples over four farms was 1.1% (95% CI 0.01-2.19).

The within-herd prevalence of M. bovis IMI is low in endemically infected dairy herds and self-clearance may occur. The risk of transmission of M. bovis to calves via colostrum was low.


P54 - Associations between herd level somatic cell count, milk yield and use of dry cow therapy


Niemi, Riitta, University of Helsinki
Vilar, Maria J., University of Helsinki
Hovinen, Mari, University of Helsinki
Simojoki, Heli, University of Helsinki
Rajala-Schultz, Päivi J., University of Helsinki


INTRODUCTION: Due to concerns about increasing antimicrobial resistance and calls for prudent use of antimicrobials, selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is a desirable alternative to blanket dry cow therapy (BDCT). In addition, it can challenge BDCT, if it maintains similar udder health and milk production level in herds. Longitudinal studies over years focusing on within-herd dynamics of udder health, dry cow therapy, farm characteristics and dry cow management practices are sparse. This study aims to evaluate associations between herd average of individual cow SCC, yearly milk yield and different drying-off practices used in Finnish dairy herds with special interest in the use of antimicrobial DCT. METHODS: Information about farm characteristics and DCT practices (BDCT, SDCT, no DCT) was collected through a survey in early 2017. Dairy herd improvement (DHI) information for years 2012 to 2016 was obtained from the responding farmers who granted permission to use their information (n=252). First, unconditional associations were evaluated between different farm characteristics and both herd average SCC and milk yield. Multivariable analyses were carried out by using generalized linear mixed models, with year as a repeated measure. The use of antimicrobial DCT was considered the main variable of interest, so it was forced into the models. RESULTS: SDCT was used in 78.1% of the farms, whereas 5.6% did not use antibiotic DCT at all, and 16.3% of farms applied BDCT. Milk samples were microbiologically examined at dry-off in 83.3% and 56.1% of farms using SDCT and BDCT, respectively. No dynamic changes over the years in SCC or milk yield within or between different antimicrobial DCT groups were observed. Neither herd annual SCC nor milk yield was significantly associated with the antimicrobial DCT approach. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results suggest that it is possible to maintain good milk production and good udder health with SDCT approach.


P55 - Efficacy of internal teat sealant at drying off on udder healthy of dairy cows


Gustavo Freu, Department of Animal Nutrition and Production, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo
Tiago Tomazi, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine Cornell University
Breno Luis Nery Garcia, Department of Animal Nutrition and Production, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo
Carlos Eduardo Fidélis, Department of Animal Nutrition and Production, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo
Rafael Marin Chiummo, Clinical Researcher Manager in MSD Animal Health Innovation Frankfurt Am Main Area, Germany
Marcos Veiga dos Santos, Department of Animal Nutrition and Production, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo


After drying off dairy cows, keratin plugs forms on the teat canal and acts as a physical barrier preventing the access of pathogens causing mastitis to the mammary gland. Delays or non-formation of keratin plugs predispose to intramammary infections (IMI). Therefore, the use of internal teat sealant (ITS) mimetize the keratin plug and prevent the occurrence of new IMI. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of ITS (Masti-Seal®) associated with Cepravin® (anhydrous cephalone 0.25g) at drying off on bacteriological cure, new IMI, inflammation cure and new intramammary inflammation.

Five dairy herds located in Minas Gerais (n = 3), São Paulo (n = 1) and Parana (n = 1) States were selected for this study. Cows in the final third of gestation (± 220 days) that have not been treated with antibiotics for at least 30 days before drying off were included in the study. Selected cows were randomly assigned into two treatment groups: a: (CEP) anhydrous cephalone 0.25g (Cepravin®, MSD Animal Health), or b: (CEP+ITS) anhydrous cephalone 0.25g (Cepravin®, MSD Animal Health) associated with an ITS (Masti-Seal®; MSD Animal Health). Milk samples of individual mammary quarters were collected for microbiological culture of all cows selected on the day of drying and 7 ± 3 and 14 ± 3 days postpartum. In addition, milk samples of mammary quarter were collected to evaluate somatic cell counts on drying off day and 14 ± 3 days postpartum. A total of 439 dairy cows (1.756 mammary quarters) fulfilled the inclusion criteria and had data evaluated. There was no significant effect for bacteriological cure, inflammation cure and intramammary inflammation rates. On the other hand, the CEP+ITS was more effective to prevent new IMI than CEP protocol (risk of new infection = 17% vs. 22%, respectively; P=0.04). Mammary quarters that were treated with CEP+ITS protocol were 1.4 times less susceptible to present a new IMI than quarters treated with only Cepravin®.