CellCheck_Newsletter_November 2016_final

CELLCHECK NEWS CELLCHECK NEWS P2

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GUEST CONTRIBUTOR P3

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

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CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH P5

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NEWSLETTER CellCheck Cel NEWSLET E

SERVICE PROVIDER NOTES RESEARCH UPDATE P7

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JANUARY EDITION 2015 AHI gratefully acknowledges the financial and other contributions of FBD, Teagasc, UCD and our other stakeholders to the CellCheck prog amme. NOVEMBER EDITION 2016 AHI gratefully acknowledges the financial and other contributions of FBD, Teagasc, UCD and our other stakeholders to the CellCheck programme.

Animal Health Ireland, Main Street, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim. Tel: +353 (0) 71 9671928, Email: admin@animalhealthireland.ie www.animalhealthireland.ie 4-5 The Archw ys, Carrick-o -Shannon, Co Leitrim N41 WN27.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER EDITION 2016

NEWS

Finola McCoy, Programme Manager

CellCheck Programme Update

WELCOME to this month’s edition of the CellCheck newsletter. This month, our guest contributor is John Downey, from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM). John outlines the value of having a national SCC dataset, and the role that DAFM, the processors and AHI have played in establishing this. It is this dataset that allows AHI to deliver the CellCheck Milking For Quality Awards, now in their third year. We are currently planning a national awards ceremony for this year’s winners, which will be held at the end of the month. I hope to be able to bring you news and photos from the night in next month’s newsletter. The award plaques, which are sponsored by FBD Trust, are presented to the 500 suppliers in the country with the lowest annual average SCC for the year. Even within this group of excellent performers, we can see the standard increasing year after year! In other areas of CellCheck activity, CellCheck Farmer Workshops as part of the Dairy Knowledge Transfer programme are well underway. Workshops commenced at the start of October, and to date more than 30 workshops have been delivered, with very positive feedback from participants.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER EDITION 2016

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

SOMATIC Cell Counts are recognised nationally and internationally as a credible indicator of milk quality. Somatic Cell Counts (SCC) can also act as an indicator of how milk is produced, in terms of the condition of the farmyard and milking parlour, the farmer’s attention to hygienic practices and the farmer’s attitude to animal health. The global dairy market is a very competitive space. Perception about dairy products is critical for success in this market. The Irish dairy industry has built up a strong reputation for delivering the highest standards of product quality, a reputation based on food safety, milk quality, on-farm standards and a sustainable grass based milk production system. The fact that 15% of all infant milk formula traded internationally is manufactured in Ireland is testament to that reputation. Therefore SCCs are very important. The EU legal requirement for SCC in cows’ milk is that the rolling geometric average must be less than or equal to 400,000 cells/mL over a three-month period, with at least one sample taken per month. However the top tier of the dairy sector demands and produces milk well below half of that level, i.e. below 200,000 cells/mL. In the early part of this decade, after the publication of the Food Harvest 2020 targets, which included a 50% increase in milk production, concerns were being expressed by stakeholders that, in the rush to increase production, the focus on hygiene and on-farm handling would decline. Among the steps taken to address these concerns, was the launching of the then newly developed AHI CellCheck Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control by Minister Coveney. These Guidelines, which are now in widespread use throughout the dairy sector, were introduced to act as a practical handbook for effective mastitis control, as one part of the CellCheck programme. Why it is so important to have a National Somatic Cell Count database? John Downey, Assistant Principal Officer, Meat and Milk Policy Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER EDITION 2016

Another programme resource is the CellCheck Farmer Workshop, which has been running since 2013, and has now been included as a requirement in the Department’s new Dairy Knowledge Transfer Scheme. All of this work needs to be corroborated, verified and evaluated and it is here where the existence of a National Somatic Cell Count database proves its worth. The establishment of such a database commenced in 2013. It is populated by the SCC sampling results which are provided to the Department by milk purchasers under the Food Hygiene Regulations. Its value is already apparent in that we can now see, through a combination of the SCC results from milk recording herds (centrally collated by ICBF) and the information from the new database that there has been a significant improvement in the average SCC level in the dairy herd in the period 2010 to 2015. In 2010 some 26% of milk recorded herds had an annual herd average SCC below the 200,000 cells/ mL threshold and this figure has risen to 61% in 2015. The national bulk tank SCC results contained in the new database show a similar trend. The Cellcheck Industry Consultation Group has agreed a common target, that by 2020 75% of milk supplied in Ireland will have an SCC <200,000 cells/mL; the industry is well on its way to achieving this target. The data from the database, when anonymised will continue to be passed to AHI to carry out their excellent trending analysis. It will also allow AHI to carry out additional research and focus their education programmes in specific areas. In addition the database can assist the Department in ensuring compliance with the EU Regulations in this area.

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CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER EDITION 2016

To treat or not to treat? That is the question!

MANY farmers will shortly be preparing for the dry period, and making decisions about what dry cow therapy to use in their herd. Many farmers may also be considering using antibiotic dry cow therapy only on selected cows in the herd, for various reasons. Remember-these are key decisions that you should first discuss with your veterinary practitioner. It is also important to remember why we use dry cow therapy, and what the various options are:

REMEMBER! Dry cow therapy (DCT) consists of intramammary antibiotic tubes and/or internal teat sealer. The purpose of DCT is to: 1. eliminate existing udder infections at the end of lactation 2. and prevent new infections over the dry period. BLANKET DCT: This is when all quarters of all cows are treated with antibiotic. SELECTIVE DCT: This is when only selected cows i.e. those with infected quarters, are treated with antibiotic. Internal teat sealer can then be used in the remainder of the herd.

Hygiene when administering any type of dry cow therapy is critical.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER EDITION 2016

There are many criteria to consider and discuss with your vet, before deciding if selective dry cow therapy is suitable for your herd, and how to implement it. These include herd SCC, milk recording results from the whole lactation, milk culture results, treatment records etc. Regardless of what product is used, antibiotic or non-antibiotic, excellent hygiene when administering DCT is critical. Bacteria introduced accidentally at this time can cause serious problems, not just during the dry period, but in early lactation too. Research has shown that 50-60% of all new infections caused by environmental pathogens occur during the dry period, with many of these infections becoming clinical after calving.

For more information and practical tips on Dry Cow Treatment, see CellCheck Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control -Guidelines 16 – 18 & Management Notes C – F.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER EDITION 2016

RESEARCH UPDATE

AT THIS year’s AVTRW (The Association for Veterinary Teaching and Research Work) conference, held in UCD in October, the CellCheck programme manager gave a presentation on a research project carried out in 2015/2016, in collaboration with Kilkenny Regional Veterinary Laboratory, and Meadow Meats in Rathdowney. What follows is the submitted abstract, giving an overview of the pilot study and the key findings: A pilot abattoir survey of mammary glands from cull dairy cows to assess gross pathology, bacteriological findings, somatic cell counts and reasons for culling. The objectives of this pilot study were to assess the incidence of teat end damage, gross pathology, bacteriological findings and somatic cell counts in mammary glands from cull dairy cows, and to ascertain if the incidence of these factors were related to the culling decision. Over 4 months, 40 cull dairy cow udders were collected weekly from a slaughter plant. A short questionnaire was completed with the farmer pre-slaughter. Udders were examined, according to a pre-determined protocol, for evidence of gross teat and udder pathology. A tissue sample was taken from each of the four quarters for culture. A milk sample was taken to measure the somatic cell count (SCC). Of the 33 animals where a reason for culling was recorded by the farmer, not being in calf was the most common primary reason for culling (n=23). For three of these animals, mastitis was listed as a secondary reason. For two animals, mastitis was the primary reason listed for culling. Hyperkeratosis of the teat end was the most frequently recorded gross pathological lesion. Of the 160 teats examined, 79 and 9 were classified as rough (49.4%) and very rough (5.6%) respectively. 45 quarter milk samples, from 21 cows, yielded a positive culture result. The most frequently identified pathogen was Truperella pyogenes (29.9%), followed by Streptococcus uberis and Aerococcus viridins (both 21.3% of positive quarters). Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus licheniformis were isolated in 12.7% of positive quarters each, and 1 quarter was positive for Streptococcus dysgalactiae.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER EDITION 2016

Individual quarter SCC results were available for 32 of the 40 udders. Of these 128 quarters, 6 had an SCC <200,000 cells/mL (4.6%), 28 were between 200,000 and 1,000,000 cells/ml (21.8%), 60 were >1,000,000 cells/mL (46.8%). Samples from 34 quarters were unsuitable for measuring due to the presence of clots. This study showed that while a high proportion of cows and quarters had evidence of moderate to severe teat end damage, and a majority of cows had a very high SCC in multiple quarters, mastitis was not listed as the reason for culling in the majority of cows who, based on these results, would be capable of substantially contributing to a herd mastitis problem.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER EDITION 2016

A Resource and Point of Contact for CellCheck Activities in your Area CellCheck Regional Coordinators

Paul Cullinan 087 2470803 Mayo/Sligo Aurivo

Brendan Dillon 087 2626851 Cork/Waterford/ Wexford/Wicklow Glanbia

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Tom Starr 087 6697010 Tipperary/Limerick Arrabawn Co-op

Sean McCarthy 066 7163200 Kerry/Clare Kerry Agribusiness

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John Fitzpatrick 086 0426567 Kilkenny/Laois/Carlow/ Kildare/Dublin Glanbia

Sinead Treanor 023 8822369 West Cork Carbery Group

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Tom Downes 087 2564669 Longford/Monaghan Lakeland Dairies

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Andrew O’Neill 086 1836505 Tipperary Tipperary Co-Op

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