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Canberra to hear of mastitis reduction

A LEONGATHA vet and a Stony Creek dairy farmer are heading to the Australian Dairy Conference in Canberra later this month.

Happy with that: Stony Creek dairy farmer Peter Hanrahan has been able to reduce clinical mastitis in heifers by nearly 100 percent during the first 30 days of lactation.

Dr Peter DeGaris of Gippsland Veterinary Group and Peter Hanrahan of Homebush Pastoral Company, Stony Creek will participate in the ‘Behind the farm gate’ session on the dairy industry’s approach to using antibiotics with a focus on the responsible use of antibiotics and its impact of antibiotic resistance.

The World Health Organisation warns that “without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill”. 

Agriculture has an important role to play in the global effort to combat antibiotic resistance and to this end, and the men will be presenting some of the results of a mastitis control program that has been implemented at Mr Hanrahan’s Stony Creek dairy over the last couple of years and its impact on the level of antibiotic use for the treatment of clinical mastitis.

The program revolves around three key areas – prevention of mastitis, the clear classification of clinical cases into mild, moderate or severe, and the on-farm milk culturing of any mastitis cases using the Mastatest system.

One of the preventative measures Mr Hanrahan has implemented in the last few years has been the use of TeatSeal on all heifers prior to calving.

Teat Seal is an inert non-antibiotic product that is inserted in to the teat canal just before calving and effectively seals off the udder from any bacteria that may cause mastitis around calving. 

This program has seen a nearly 100 percent reduction in the cases of clinical mastitis is heifers in the first 30 days of lactation.

The Mastatest system allows the rapid culturing of milk from clinical cases of mastitis on- farm with results being available within 24 hours.

Once the bacteria causing the case of mastitis and which antibiotic is best used to treat the infection is known, a decision is made on what is the best course of treatment for each individual case of mastitis. 

In many cases, depending on the bacteria involved, antibiotics are not needed to treat the mild or moderate cases of mastitis with cows receiving non-antibiotic supportive therapies, such as anti-inflammatories, as the sole treatment.

By focusing on prevention, only using antibiotics when necessary and using the best antibiotic for each individual case of mastitis that is treated, Mr Hanrahan has managed to reduce their antibiotic use for clinical mastitis by nearly 75 percent in just two seasons. 

This results in reduced animal health costs, reduced risk of milk contamination with antibiotics and reduced risk of the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

For more information on the Australian Dairy Conference, which is running from February 19 to 21 in Canberra, go to www.australiandairyconference.com.au

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27596

Posted by on Feb 19 2019. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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