CellCheck Newsletter November FINAL V2

November Edition 2018

CellCheck ANIMAL HEALTH IRELAND NEWSLETTER Contributing to a profitable and sustainable farming and agri-food sector through improved animal health

www.AnimalHealthIreland.ie

PROGRAMME NEWS | 03

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR | 04 CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH | 08

PROGRAMME UPDATE | 09

NATIONAL MASTITIS CONTROL PROGRAMME

CellCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 WN27

AHI gratefully acknowledges the financial and other contributions of Teagasc and all our stakeholders to the CellCheck programme.

NATIONAL MASTITIS CONTROL PROGRAMME Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41WN27

CellCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie

CELLCHECK PROGRAMME NEWS

November News

Finola McCoy, Programme Manager

W elcome to the November issue of the CellCheck newsletter. There has been much activity in recent weeks, with the start of a series of nationwide on-farm events, in partnership with Teagasc and the local co-ops. These events have focussed on getting the best results from drying off cows and dry cow nutrition, preventing mastitis in heifers as well as introducing the topic of selective dry cow strategies. This month’s newsletter continues many of these themes; our monthly tip looks at the importance of giving the cow (and the milker!) a dry period of sufficient duration, while our guest contributor this month, Catherine McAloon, Assistant Professor in Herd Health and Animal Husbandary, UCD and member of the CellCheck Technical Working Group discusses the risk factors for mastitis in heifers, and some of the recommended strategies to prevent new infections. There has been a lot of interest in all of the topics at these events, with great engagement from farmers and robust discussion. For those of you that haven’t yet attended one of these on-farm events, it’s not too late-see page 4 for more information on the remaining venues and November dates. This month also sees the rollout of TASAH Dry Cow Consults around the country-for more information see the Programme Update section on page 9 . Planning is also underway for our annual CellCheck Milking for Quality awards ceremony, which will be held on November 29 th in Kilkenny. Once again, the standard of the 500 suppliers with the best SCC has improved, with all award winners this year having an SCC of 72,000 cells/mL or less, which is a phenomenal achievement! Congratulations to all the winners-we will have a full report of the award ceremony in next month’s issue of the newsletter.

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH “The dry period is also an ideal time to deal with those high SCC cows, or chronic cases of mastitis. While factors such as the bacteria involved can influence the outcome, generally dry cow therapy (DCT) delivers a better cure rate than treating cows during lactation.” There are many definitions for what constitutes a case of subclinical mastitis but a widely accepted definition is that SCC >200 000 cells/ml for first lactation animals at any milk recording is indicative of subclinical mastitis.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | November Edition 2018

CELLCHECK ON-FARM EVENTS Teagasc | Animal Health Ireland

Get ready to maximise your herd’s full potential for 2019

1. What is the best way to dry off cows? 2. Is there a role for selective dry cow therapy? 3. Can you reduce the risk of mastitis for in-calf heifers? 4. How can you best look after your dry cows? What topics will be covered at these CellCheck Events ?

If you want to learn more about any of these topics, come along to one of the Animal Health Ireland/ Teagasc CellCheck Open Days. “ ” This series of CellCheck events is being run with the help and support of the local Co-op in each region.

NATIONAL MASTITIS CONTROL PROGRAMME Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41WN27

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR HEIFER MASTITIS: A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM FOR SOME HERDS

Catherine McAloon, Assistant Professor in Herd Health and Animal Husbandary, UCD and member of the CellCheck Technical Working Group

H eifer mastitis can be a significant problem for some herds. Heifer mastitis can threaten production and udder health in the first lactation and in subsequent lactations. It has been demonstrated that heifers that develop mastitis in the first 30 days after calving produce less milk and are likely to be less profitable over their lifetime. Given the substantial costs associated with rearing heifers until first calving, and given that the breakeven point is not achieved until second lactation, it is imperative that mastitis is prevented in the first lactation. In addition to the direct costs associated with a case of mastitis, the effect on longevity in the herd and detrimental effects on production must also be considered and it is potentially a significant welfare issue.

Mastitis is caused by a variety of bacterial pathogens and results in inflammation in the udder, most often caused by bacterial infection. Mastitis can be defined as clinical or subclinical. Clinical mastitis occurs when there are visible changes in the milk; these can be further classified as mild, moderate and severe cases. Clinical mastitis results in changes in the milk but can also result in changes in the udder and in the cow, such as swollen quarters and an increased body temperature. However, it is most common that the only sign is abnormal milk. Clinical mastitis can also be recognised in colostrum. Subclinical mastitis exists without obvious changes in the milk but with an increase in somatic cell count (SCC) and relies on indirect tests such as SCC counts on milk records to detect it. There are many definitions for what constitutes a case of subclinical mastitis but a widely accepted definition is that SCC >200 000 cells/ml for first lactation animals at any milk recording is indicative of subclinical mastitis. Even in the absence of visible changes in the milk, bacteria can still be present in cases of subclinical mastitis. Heifer mastitis also includes cases where one or more quarters are non-functional in animals in their first lactation.

Subclinical mastitis exists without obvious changes in the milk but with an increase in somatic cell count (SCC) and relies on indirect tests such as SCC counts on milk records to detect it.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | November Edition 2018

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Although it is unusual to see clinical mastitis in heifers before calving, it is possible that heifers develop subclinical infections with mastitis pathogens before calving. It is most common that heifer mastitis is diagnosed after calving when the animal begins milking and either abnormal milk is detected or an increased SCC. In order for mastitis to develop, bacteria must gain entry into the teat canal via the teat orifice to establish infection and provoke an inflammatory response which results in either clinical or subclinical mastitis. Although many pathogens that cause mastitis in adult cows may also result in heifer mastitis, Streptococcus uberis and Coagulase negative staphylococcus are commonly involved in heifer mastitis. Other environmental pathogens are also often involved in cases of heifer mastitis. Exposure of the teats to pathogens in the pre-calving environment can result in infection before calving. Some infections may arise from bacteria living on the teat skin, while others are bacteria from the environment that enter the teat and initiate infection. A number of risk factors for heifer mastitis have been identified but are often farm and region specific: these include udder oedema and hygiene of the environment. Before considering control strategies youmust first decide if you have a specific heifer mastitis problem. Then in conjunction with your veterinary practitioner investigate the problem and decide on specific management strategies that are most relevant to your farm. An integrated strategy to prevent and control heifer mastitis should include goal setting, assessment of the current farm systems, application of farm specific interventions and monitoring of outcomes. This will require good records of clinical mastitis cases and a first milk recording carried out early enough in the year.

If more than 15% heifers have clinical mastitis at/around calving or If more than 15% heifers have a first test day milk recording of SCC > 200 000 cells/ml, when measured at 15-35 days in milk → THIS WARRANTS INVESTIGATION AND CONTROL

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | November Edition 2018

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GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

In conjunction with your veterinary practitioner, some farm prevention and control mechanisms may include: • Improve general udder health management at the farm level to decrease the pressure of infection with udder pathogens from older cows to heifers. • Prevent cross-suckling in calves and young stock, as this practice can be implicated in the development of heifer mastitis in later life. • Implement an effective and efficient fly control system as flies can have a role in the development of summer mastitis. • Address any issues that cause teat skin lesions, for example if teat warts are an issue, a long term control strategy should be pursued and these issues dealt with well in advance of calving. • Keep young and pre-calving heifers in a clean and hygienic environment and separate from older milking cows. It is important that the pre-calving accommodation is fit for purpose, has enough space and provides a clean, dry, hygienic environment - give as much attention to the hygiene and cleanliness of this group of animals as you do to the lactating herd. • Avoid any nutritional deficiency—particularly with regard to vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and selenium. • Minimize the risk of negative energy balance before and after calving through appropriate transition feeding systems. • Reduce the incidence of udder oedema through optimized peripartum management; although this area is poorly understood, some contributing factors are thought to relate to feeding practices, over-fat heifers as well as a genetic component. The interval from calving to first milking is also important. • Minimize stress around calving (e.g. by not moving heifers to the calving pen when already in labour) and minimize incidence of dystocia and peripartum disease. Consider training of heifers in the milking area pre- calving. • Ensure the calving pen is clean and well maintained and try to ensure the calving area is not the same area that is used for the hospital pen for sick animals. • Consider use of other measures in conjunction with your veterinary practitioner: → Teat spraying three times per week with an iodine-based teat spray for the last 3- 4 weeks before calving has been shown to reduce the number of certain bacteria at the teat ends; → The use of teat sealant pre-calving in heifers is used in some countries but this product is not licensed for use in heifers in this country.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | November Edition 2018

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CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH Don’t cut corners on the dry period this year!

[Click here] for previously published tips

T o recoup some of the production costs of the year to date, there may be a temptation to continue milking cows as long as they keep producing milk. However, this could prove to be a costly exercise in the long run. It is important to remember that every cow needs a dry period before she calves again, and starts her next lactation. This is the time when mammary tissue regenerates, repairs and prepares to produce milk again. It is also the period when cows have an opportunity to reach the optimal body condition score, in preparation for calving and the start of the next breeding cycle. The dry period is also the time when the milker gets to take a break, which is important for their own mental and physical health. The general recommendation is that cows need a dry period that is at least 42 days long. To ignore, or significantly shorten the dry period, could have a detrimental effect on the productivity of the herd in 2019. Shorter dry periods can also increase the risk of antibiotic residues in milk after calving, if sufficient attention is not given to the minimum dry period duration of the product. Just because the product was fine to use last year on cows that had a 7 week dry period, doesn’t automatically mean that is ok to use this year in cows that might only be dry for 6 weeks! The dry period is also an ideal time to deal with those high SCC cows, or chronic cases of mastitis. While factors such as the bacteria involved can influence the outcome, generally dry cow therapy (DCT) delivers a better cure rate than treating cows during lactation.

Hygiene at drying off is absolutely crucial-what you do now will have an impact on udder health in 2019.

For more information on see the CellCheck Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | November Edition 2018

DRY COW THERAPY All farmers have an opportunity to maximise udder health when drying off cows and during the dry period, and in some cases to safely reduce the number of cows receiving antibiotic treatment as part of a drying off strategy. ‘Blanket dry cow therapy’, where all cows are treated with dry cow antibiotic tubes, was traditionally recognised as best practice in mastitis control and has made a very positive contribution to udder health in many countries. However, as we learn more about the association between antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance, the practice of blanket dry cow therapy is being questioned in many countries, by farmers, consumers and society in general. There is a growing interest and move towards ‘selective dry cow strategies’, which involve a more targeted use of antibiotic treatments. However, this practice is not without risk and may not be suitable for all herds. FUNDED DRY COW CONSULT As part of the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) funded through the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020, a Dry Cow Consult, between trained veterinary practitioners and their clients, is now available. The purpose of the TASAH Dry Cow Consult is to enable farmers to engage with their vet to develop farm-specific selective dry cow strategies, where appropriate. Milk recording results and farm records will be reviewed, as well as current practices when drying off cows, to help develop and plan these strategies. ELIGIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS In order to maximise the positive outcomes from this initiative, the service will be made available to herds that already have the necessary information and records to support decision-making and planning. To be considered eligible for the free service a dairy farmer must meet the following criteria: • Bulk milk tank SCC is consistently <200,000 cells/mL • At least 4 whole herd milk recordings in 2018 • The last milk recording is no older than 6 weeks at the time of registration • HerdPlus member. Farmers availing of the TASAH service will also be expected to adopt the following practices: • Record the date of drying off and product used for all cows at the end of the 2018 lactation • Commence milk recording within the first 2 months of the 2019 lactation • Following the consult, record any clinical mastitis cases thereafter on ICBF, by SMS or the Animal Events page PROGRAMME UPDATE Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) Dry Cow Consult

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | November Edition 2018

PROGRAMME UPDATE

REGISTRATION Registration for the consult is now open on the AHI website click here . Once registration has been completed, herd eligibility will then be determined based on ICBF records, and applicants will be informed by email of the outcome. Registration is open until November 30 th 2018, and all Dry Cow consults must be complete by the end of 2018 and are subject to veterinary practitioner availability.

The registration form for the consult is available on the AHI website.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | November Edition 2018

CELLCHECK REGIONAL COORDINATORS

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

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Tom Starr 087 6697010

Mícheal Guinan 086 3511852 micheal.guinan@aurivo.ie Mayo/Sligo Aurivo

tstarr@arrabawn.ie Tipperary/Limerick National Co-op

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John Fitzpatrick 086 0426567

John Murphy 066 7163200 john.murphy@kerry.ie Kerry/Clare Kerry Agribusiness

fitzpatrickj@glanbia.ie Kilkenny/Laois/Carlow/ Kildare/Dublin Glanbia

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Sinead Treanor streanor@carbery.com 023 8822369 West Cork Carbery Group

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Andrew O’Neill 086 1836505 aoneill@tipperary-coop.ie Tipperary Tipperary Co-Op

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Tom Downes 087 2564669

Denis Guiry 086 8098639 dguiry@dairygold.ie Cork/Tipperary/Limerick Dairygold

downest@lakeland.ie Longford/Monaghan Lakeland Dairies

Brendan Dillon 087 2626851 BrDillon@glanbia.ie

Cork/Waterford/ Wexford/Wicklow Glanbia

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | November Edition 2018

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