CellCheck Briefing Document 2017 FINAL

ANIMAL HEALTH IRELAND

PROGRAMME BRIEFING DOCUMENT 2017

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 our stakeholders to the CellCheck programme.

NATIONAL MASTITIS CONTROL PROGRAMME

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

Programme Briefing Document 2017

Contents

1.

Introduction & Rationale

2.

Programme Goals

3.

Programme Documentation

4.

Technical Resources

5.

Programme Activities 2017

6.

Priority Activities 2017

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

1. Introduction & Rationale

The value of agriculture, and in particular dairy production, to the Irish economy is very significant. Although Ireland is a relatively small dairy producer in global terms (accounting for less than 1% of world dairy production), more than 80% of its dairy production is exported. Over the last two decades, Ireland has become one of the world’s leading producers of infant nutritional products, a market which continues to grow in export value. High quality value-added specialist dairy ingredients are also sold into the beverage, nutritional and bakery sectors globally, and continue to be a growth area, as is the sale of Irish branded dairy products direct to end consumers around the world. There has been a 50% rise in the value of exported dairy products and ingredients between 2010 and 2015. 2016 was a difficult year for dairy markets, with a strong supply-demand imbalance globally. Despite this, the value of Irish dairy exports grew by 2% on the previous year, and continues to be in excess of €3 billion. Dairy exports accounted for an estimated 31% of all food and drink exports from Ireland in 2016. 1 With the abolition of dairy production quotas in early 2015, growth has also been seen at farm level; Irish milk supplies were estimated to be 18.5% or over 1 billion litres higher for 2016, relative to 2014 2 . While the removal of quotas presented Irish farms with an opportunity to increase their milk production, it also brought with it the challenge of market volatility. Ensuring optimal udder health and milk quality is one way that suppliers and processors can maximise profitability, remaining competitive and sustainable in challenging markets and times. Economic research completed in the early years of the CellCheck programme showed that an SCC reduction from >400,000 to <100,000 cells/mL, results in an increase in overall returns to the farm of 4.8 c/L, including the farm and processor related effects. Furthermore it was shown that a 10% reduction in the cell count of the national herd, as estimated prior to the commencement of the programme, would be worth €37.6 million for the Irish dairy industry. 3 Significant progress has been made nationally in the udder health of Irish herds, since the commencement of the CellCheck programme. Analysis of bulk tank SCC data from the national SCC database shows an increase in the proportion of herds and milk volume with an annual average SCC <200,000 cells/mL from 39% to 55%, and 46% to 64% respectively, between 2013 and 2015. (Figure 1).

Footnote 1 [click here]; Footnote 1 [click here]; Footnote 1 [click here]

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

Introduction & Rationale (continued)

VOLUME

HERDS

70%

70%

64% 2015

60% 2015

60%

60%

55% 2014

50% 2014

50%

50%

46% 2013

39% 2013

40%

40%

30%

30%

20%

20%

10%

10%

Figure 1. Proportion of herds and milk volume with SCC <200,000 cells/mL (Source: National bulk tank dataset) 4

Analysis of national sales data for intra-mammary products also shows a positive trend, with a reduction in the ‘defined course dose’ (DCDvet) for in-lactation products, which indicates a reduction in the number of mastitis treatments administered during lactation. This analysis looked

70

60

50

40

30

Defined course dose per 100 animals per year

20

10

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Figure 2. Estimated on-farm antimicrobial usage of in-lactation intramammary antimicrobials in Ireland between 2003 and 2015.

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Footnote 4 This dataset includes information on 93% of milk collected in Ireland.

Programme Briefing Document 2017

Introduction & Rationale (continued)

at sales data from 2003 to 2015, with DCDvet per 100 animals per year reducing to 46.56 in 2015 from a high of 69.91 in 2008. (figure 2).

70%

Annual average SCC <200,000

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

Annual average SCC >400,000

10%

2004

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Commencement of CellCheck programme

Figure 3. Distribution of Irish milk recording herds 2004-2016 (Source ICBF)

Data from Irish milk recording herds shows that in 2016, 60% of herds had an annual average SCC of 200,000 cells/ml or less, compared to 26% of herds in 2010. (fig 3). Analysis of these datasets also highlights some of the ongoing and future challenges to continued progress in udder health in Ireland. The uptake of milk recording in Ireland is considered low in comparison to competitor countries, and 2016 has seen a reduction in the numbers of herds carrying out whole herd milk recording. (fig 4). This is most likely as a result of the low milk price in

7,000

6,000

5,000

4,000

3,000

% of milk recording herds with SCC <200,000

2,000

1,000

2006

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Figure 4. Number of herds milk recording in Ireland (2006-2016)

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

Introduction & Rationale (continued)

that year; however this short-term saving has the potential to have a longer term negative impact on udder health in Ireland. Similarly the analysis of national intra-mammary sales data has shown that blanket dry cow antibiotic therapy is common, which in light of the increasing awareness and focus on prudent antibiotic use no longer aligns with international best practice and thinking. While clear progress is beingmade, there are still opportunities to improve udder health nationally. The CellCheck programme has focussed on building awareness, knowledge and capacity to facilitate improvements in mastitis control. This has been done through the development of independent, science-based resources and training, for both service providers and farmers. These have facilitated engagement between service providers, and the development of regional networks. CellCheck also enhances the regional support network available to farmers in relation to mastitis control, and the consistency and quality of information available to them. There has also been an increasing emphasis on working with industry partners to ensure that suppliers receive clear, consistent signals about the desired quality of raw milk produced in Ireland. The establishment of a national SCC database, which allows trends in the national herd to be examined and the impact of the programme to be evaluated, has been another key achievement of the programme. CellCheck will continue to work closely with stakeholders and industry partners to identify their needs in the area of udder health and to seek to develop targeted solutions to the challenges they face.

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

2. Programme Goals

The current industry-agreed goal is that by 2020, 75% of the milk supplied by Irish farmers will have an SCC of 200,000 cells/mL or less. This goal was agreed in February 2015 following extensive consultation with stakeholders and will be subject to review at the end of the current AHI strategy period (2015-2017). An objective review of national udder health performance, as well as of the challenges posed by emerging issues such as antimicrobial resistance will help refine the current goal and identify additional goals if necessary. This review, as well as future programme and industry decisions will require strong industry engagement and ownership. To maximise this, the CellCheck Industry Consultation Group will reconvene in 2017 as an Implementation Group, which will be composed of representatives from all industry stakeholder bodies. These individuals will not only have an intimate working knowledge of their sectors, but will also have a clear and strong mandate to articulate positions on behalf of their parent organisations and to engage robustly with the issues under consideration.

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

3. Programme Documentation

AHI Strategy Document 2015 - 2017 The overall strategic direction of Animal Health Ireland and of the CellCheck programme is set out in the AHI Strategy (2015-17), available from the AHI website [click here] . CellCheck Business Plan The annual programme deliverables are set out in the 2017 business plan, which was agreed in consultation with AHI stakeholders. The Business Plan is available from the website [click here] . Programme Briefing Document The purpose of this present document, which is produced annually, is to provide AHI stakeholders and a wider audience with an introduction to the CellCheck programme and an overview of plans for the year ahead. Stakeholder Communications Stakeholders receive a formal annual report and informal quarterly reports on delivery across the full range of AHI programmes, including CellCheck . CellCheck Newsletter A monthly CellCheck programme newsletter is distributed in digital format, to approximately 2,000 subscribed industry bodies, service providers and farmers. As well as regular technical articles, the newsletter contains material from guest contributors, updates on programme activities and operational information or reminders, when appropriate. Articles from the newsletter, such as the ‘Tip of the Month’ are also published in many stakeholder newsletters and communications on a regular basis.

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

4. Technical Resources

The developing national SCC database is an invaluable technical resource for the programme, and has been established with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM). DAFM currently collects SCC data relating to more than 90% of the national milk pool, which facilitates the identification of temporal SCC trends and the measurement of industry progress. It also facilitates the evaluation of the impact of programme measures, such as the CellCheck Farmer Workshop, and of other industry initiatives, such as milk payment policies. A single national database is also essential for the development of the CellCheck Milking For Quality Awards. These awards, which were presented for the first time in 2014, recognise and promote excellence in udder health. The award plaques, which are sponsored by the FBD Trust, are presented annually to the 500 farmers with the lowest annual average SCC, based on the SCC data submitted to DAFM by the processors. As with other AHI programmes, CellCheck continues to be supported by a technical working group (TWG), which includes technical experts from UCD, veterinary practice, Teagasc, industry and interest groups. The role of the TWG is to collate leading international research, or to agree an expert consensus in the absence of such research. The TWG outputs, which are based on scientific evidence and best practice, provide the basis for a range of consistent, high-quality information resources for farmers and service providers and to date include awareness and educational tools, including the CellCheck Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control , the CostCheck mastitis calculator, practical video clips, and new milk recording reports. The TWG has also been instrumental in the development of both service provider and farmer training modules. Ongoing work of the TWG will steer the development of ancillary tools for farm use and advisory purposes, and further service provider training.

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

5. Planned activities

Building awareness Generating a clear understanding of the benefits from improved mastitis control, along with the factors contributing to mastitis, are key aspects of the CellCheck programme. So too is identifying and ensuring access to effective mastitis control solutions. In 2017 the CellCheck programme will: • Continue to deliver CellCheck Milking for Quality Best 500 awards to recognise the farmers that currently demonstrate top quality udder health, based on the information held on the national SCC database for the 2016 supply year. Additional award categories will also be developed, subject to data availability. • Engage with milk processors and key influencers to increase industry involvement and ownership, and refine industry-agreed objectives on milk quality and mastitis control. • Continue to communicate monthly technical and programme messages, through AHI and stakeholder communication channels. • Present at Irish and international milk quality and veterinary conferences. • Continue to develop www.CellCheck.ie, providing an extensive online resource containing information about the programme, as well as practical and technical information on mastitis control. Establishing best practice The availability of respected, agreed and consistent technical information is key to the success of this programme. Encouraging the adoption of best practices on-farm, and enabling service providers to engage with their farmers to focus on milk quality is an important step in the change process. In 2017 the CellCheck programme will: • Continue to facilitate delivery of CellCheck Farmer Workshops by teams of trained local service providers, with the support of a network of CellCheck Regional Coordinators, for participants in the Dairy Knowledge Transfer programme, and other interested suppliers. • Continue to promote and distribute the CellCheck Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control to the Irish dairy industry. • Continue development of additional resources, such as milk recording reports and mobile apps to facilitate the adoption of simple on-farm measures which can help improve mastitis control. • Develop a CellCheck webpage containing information on diagnostic laboratories, including a list of ‘CellCheck approved’ laboratories providing commercial milk culture and sensitivity services. • Update the agreed CellCheck position on blanket and selective dry cow therapy, subject to a review of relevant Irish and international research and best practice in this area.

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

5. Planned Activities (continued)

Building capacity Learning from both Irish and international experiences, AHI recognises that enabling the industry to work together to deliver consistent information and mastitis control solutions is a sustainable and effective model. It is also important for milk suppliers to recognise the role that all disciplines can play in improving mastitis control. Based on the premise that mastitis is a multifactorial problem, and therefore best addressed by a multidisciplinary approach, CellCheck will continue to develop the capacity of the various service provider groups – vets, farm advisers, dairy co-op milk quality advisers and milking machine technicians – to work collectively to provide solutions and support for dairy farmers. In 2017, the CellCheck programme will: • Develop and deliver an additional module of multi-disciplinary Stage 2 service provider training with a strong focus on best practice in mastitis control and the existing science- based CellCheck resources. This is in response to industry demand and programme feedback. • Explore opportunities and develop mechanisms to facilitate the delivery of farm-specific mastitis investigations. • Work to develop a database of service providers currently skilled in farm investigations, and assess the need for further training to expand this pool. Programme Evaluation A process of continual evaluation is essential to ensure that CellCheck achieves the outcomes required by dairy farmers and the industry, and that it remains responsive to their changing needs. Continual evaluation has helped to shape the direction of the CellCheck programme to date, and identify key priorities. Industry-agreed KPIs will provide an objective means of monitoring progress in the udder health of the national herd, using the national SCC database as an objective measure of change. Structured participant feedback at all stages of engagement and training, both with service providers and farmers, will continue to be used to actively refine and improve the programme. For 2017, evaluation of trends in the national SCC database will continue to be a key activity, providing an objectivemeasure of industry progress. This evaluation also enables the development of CellCheck activity and SCC performance reports for use by senior management of milk processors and other stakeholders. Pending data availability, more detailed research questions can be answered by analysis of this dataset, such as demographic and/or geographical factors associated with udder health. Another important piece of work will be to examine the impact of participation in CellCheck Farmer Workshops on SCC, once sufficient longitudinal data is available.

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Programme Briefing Document 2017

6. Priority activities in 2017

Following consultation with stakeholders and industry bodies, the following activities have been identified as priority tasks for 2017: 1. Engage with milk processors and key influencers to increase industry involvement and ownership, and refine industry-agreed objectives in milk quality and mastitis control. 2. With the support of the Regional Coordinator network, assist Dairy KT Programme facilitators to deliver a target of at least 100 workshops for KT participants. 3. In conjunction with TWG and industry partners, develop and deliver an additional Stage 2 module of service provider training in mastitis control.

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