CellCheck Newsletter June 2019 FINAL

June Edition 2019

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 | 07 RESEARCH 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 our stakeholders.

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

CellCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie

CELLCHECK PROGRAMME

Programme news

Finola McCoy, Programme Manager

W elcome to this month’s edition of the CellCheck newsletter. I have just returned from the International Dairy Federation Mastitis Conference, where I presented a paper on the CellCheck Milking for Quality awards, and the progress that we have made in Ireland in recent years in udder health. I was very proud to be able to stand up in front of an international audience and tell them our good news story! That’s not to say that we can be complacent though-mastitis control requires constant attention and effort. There are also new and emerging challenges such as antimicrobial use and the related risk of antimicrobial resistance. The practice of blanket dry cow therapy is under an ever-increasing spotlight, and as an industry we have an opportunity now to start building our capacity to respond to changes that are likely to come down the track. From a farmer’s perspective, one practical step is not just to carry out milk recording, but to actually use the information that it generates to inform decision-making on farm! While milk recording is essential for making treatment decisions at drying off, it is also adds massive value throughout the whole lactation, allowing you to make informed and economical decisions. For more details, see our Tip this month. Our guest contributor this month is Catherine Mc Aloon, Assistant Professor in UCD and member of the CellCheck TWG. Catherine gives an overview of the progress that has been made in udder health in recent years in Ireland. In the early days of the CellCheck programme, collaboration with Dairy Australia provided us with access to a wealth of expertise, experience and resources. As a reminder of the process of behaviour change that a national programme can facilitate, this month’s research article looks at the early years of the Australian ‘Countdown Downunder’. Finally…..there will be a CellCheck Stage 2 Service Provider Training course taking place on Thursday 25 th of July in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise. This training course will provide attendees with the knowledge, tools, techniques and network required to effectively deliver CellCheck Farmer Workshops around the country. More than 220 farmer workshops have been delivered to date as part of the DAFM Dairy Knowledge Transfer programme. Although the CellCheck Farmer Workshop component of the KT programme has now been completed, there is always the opportunity to arrange and deliver workshops for your own suppliers/clients, as part of the CellCheck network of trained service providers. This training is designed for service providers from all disciplines (veterinary practitioners, milking machine technicians, farm advisers and co-op milk quality advisers), and registration is essential as numbers are limited (20 places are available per workshop). This one-day course commences with registration at 9.00am and concludes at 4.30pm and costs €150. See AHI website for more details and link to the booking form click here .

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | June Edition 2019

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Delivering on Food Wise 2025

Catherine McAloon, Assistant Professor, UCD and member of the CellCheck Technical Working Group.

T he dairy industry is a key player in the Irish economy with figures for the value of 2018 exports of dairy products in excess of €4 billion. The dairy industry produces 7 billion litres of milk annually from approximately 18,000 farms and 1.35 million dairy cows. Ireland has become one of the world’s leading producers of infant formula products and the export of high-quality value-added specialist dairy ingredients globally. Since the abolition of milk quota in 2015, the Irish dairy sector has undergone rapid expansion. In 2016, post quota, the European Union (EU) increased its milk output significantly, the greatest increase was reported in Ireland, with an 18.4% increase in milk output (Central Statistics Office, 2016). In October 2017 milk output was 8.2% higher than the same time in 2016. The Food Wise 2025 strategy document compiled by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) outlines an ambition to grow the value of the Irish agri-food export sector to €19 billion by 2025 with a focus on sustainability and other priority areas (DAFM, Food Wise 2025 Strategy, published 2015). Ensuring optimal udder health and milk quality is a key area for suppliers and processors to deliver on priority areas within the Food Wise 2025 strategy. The highest standards of milk quality help Ireland remain competitive and sustainable, while maximising profit. In addition to the ambitious development goals of the Irish dairy sector and ongoing global competitiveness, is a major global focus on prudent use of antimicrobials. Ireland must continue to pursue the highest standards of udder health and milk quality against a backdrop of new European legislation indicating some major changes in the use of antimicrobials in food producing animals.

Ensuring optimal udder health and milk quality is a key area for suppliers and processors to deliver on priority areas within the Foodwise 2025 strategy. The highest standards of milk quality help Ireland remain competitive and sustainable, while maximising profit.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | June Edition 2019

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DELIVERING ON FOOD WISE 2025

It is important to first review the importance of somatic cells. Somatic cells are measured per millilitre of milk and they are a mixture of milk-producing cells shed from the udder tissue and mostly cells from the immune system such as white blood cells. These cells are present in increasing numbers in response to an infection, as occurs in mastitis. Therefore, they are a key indicator of milk quality. The number of SCC’s per cow is important as it is a measure of infection status and it is generally agreed that an SCC over 200 000 cells/ml represents presence of infection in at least one quarter. Somatic cell count is used as a health indicator for mastitis but also as a welfare indicator, as high SCC is very undesirable. High SCC cows are a significant financial cost to suppliers for a range of reasons. Bulk tank SCC is also important to the processor, as a measure of herd level milk quality. It is important not only as a health indicator, but also because high SCC milk is of poorer quality and can have processability issues. There are a few target thresholds set for SCC, legal and otherwise. It is desirable that bulk tank SCC is below 200 000 cells/ml.

Annual increase in the proportion of herds/milk volume with an SCC <200,000 cells/mL

The current industry agreed goal is that by 2020, 75% of milk supplied by Irish farmers will have an SCC less than 200,000 cells/ml. Since the beginning of the CellCheck programme there have been some major improvements in Irish milk quality, with data currently available to the end of 2017. In 2013, only 38% herds supplying milk nationally had annual average below 200,000 cells/ml compared with 62% herds in 2016 and 68% of herds in 2017. In 2013, only 46% of the total milk volume supplied had an annual average below 200,000 cells/ml compared with 71% in 2017. Temporally milk quality seems to be best between March and September. Nationally, the average bulk tank SCC was 234,000 cells/ml in 2013 and reduced to 175,000 cells/ml in 2017. Economic analysis estimates that the improvements in SCC in 2015 alone was worth an extra €38 million to the industry, relative to 2013; €10,816,276 to the processors, and €27,129,108 to farmers. Overall there is a positive trajectory in the improvement in milk quality and an ongoing effort is required to continue this progress.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | June Edition 2019

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DELIVERING ON FOOD WISE 2025

In October 2018 DAFM published new guidelines; ‘Policy on Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics’ (HP- CIA’s) which will have some impact on mastitis control regarding the use of injectable antibiotics and some tubes used in clinical mastitis treatment. In January 2019 a new regulation governing veterinary medicinal products was agreed by Europe and has been formally published in the official journal of the EU, due to come into effect in January 2022. One of the main aims of this legislation is to reduce antibiotic use in food producing animals and in particular, preventative antibiotic use, which will have a major impact on the use of blanket dry cow therapy. This European legislation will provide guidelines and clarity on what is expected of us as an industry, regarding the use of important antibiotics in farm animals. There is no doubt that increased use of antimicrobials in general is linked to the rapid increase in antimicrobial resistance, which is a major global challenge to human and animal health. Optimising udder health and milk quality should be a key priority for the Irish dairy industry. We must deliver on this ambition to continue to improve milk quality but also respond to our responsibility as an industry to safely reduce the use of antibiotics in food producing animals. A sustained commitment from all relevant stakeholders in the Irish dairy industry is required to remain focused on the shared goal of optimising udder health and milk quality and maintaining a positive trajectory.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | June Edition 2019

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CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH

CellCheck Farm Summary Report - make the most of it!

[Click here] for previously published tips

Don’t think of regular milk recording as a cost that you can cut out of your production system. Milk recording is in fact a way of making savings on your farm and increasing your profitability. Milk recording is the best tool you have to establish which cows are the most productive in terms of fat, protein and milk yields and ‘paying their way’, but even more importantly it identifies cows with high SCC, indicating subclinical mastitis. These cows are costing you money.

Top Tip: Considering using electronic ID tags now to make milk recording of these animals in the future easier

TIP

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | June Edition 2019

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CELLCHECK FARM SUMMARY REPORT - MAKE THE MOST OF IT!

The CellCheck Farm Summary report provides a clear overview of how your herd is performing in the area of mastitis control and udder health and if your herd is on, above, or below target. The report uses a star-rating system to highlight areas of excellence, or areas of mastitis control that would benefit from investigation and corrective action. This report also looks specifically at mastitis control during the dry period and at calving, but it can only do this for cows that have a milk recording within 60 days of calving. So to get maximum value from your milk recording, if you haven’t started milk recording this season, get started now! Milk recording is also essential for herds that are considering using selective dry cow therapy-get started now, to have sufficient information to allow you to do this at the end of the year. Regular milk recording will give much better information than ad hoc individual cow testing, and doing it monthly gives you even more bang for your buck! Most performance measures and targets are based on monthly milk recording results. Like any disease entity, mastitis is dynamic and having regular, timely information will allow for earlier and more effective intervention, when required. Much change can happen unbeknownst to us, both positive and negative, when we leave long periods between milk recordings! → Measure to manage – measuring an individual cow’s performance means you can make informed decisions. This is critical as herds expand. → Identifying and managing high SCC cows helps stop the spread of infection between cows. → Cows which are likely to benefit from treatment can be identified quickly. → Tracking when outbreaks of mastitis happen can help identify times you should target e.g. at calving, or in mid-lactation?

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | June Edition 2019

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RESEARCH UPDATE Irish Veterinary Journal Volume 62 Supplement 52-58 2009

A national programme for mastitis control in Australia: Countdown Downunder

Brightling PB 1 , Dyson RD 1 , Hope AF 1 and Penry J 1,2 ABSTRACT

In 1998, Countdown Downunder, Australia’s national mastitis and cell count control programme, was created. With funding from the country’s leading dairy organisation, Dairy Australia, this programme was originally intended to run for three years but is now in its tenth year. As it was the first time Australia had attempted a national approach to mastitis control on the farm, the first three years of the programme were largely concerned with the development of resources to be used by farmers and service providers. The second three years were devoted to training with both groups. Since that time, Countdown Downunder has entered into a second resource development phase. The goal of the programme was to achieve a reduction in the bulk milk somatic cell count from the Australian dairy herd. To achieve this, the programme had to develop resources with clear and consistent messages around mastitis and somatic cell count control on farms. It was determined that progress toward the goals would be made more rapidly if service providers were trained in the use of these resources prior to farmers. This paper reviews the Countdown Downunder programme from 1998 to 2007. Corresponding author: John Penry Camperdown Veterinary Centre, 1 Leura St,

Camperdown, Victoria, Australia 3260 E-mail: john@camperdownvet.com.au

KEY WORDS: advisor extension; Countdown Downunder; mastitis control; national programme

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | June Edition 2019

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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Aoife Feeney afeeney@carbery.com 087 3484901. 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 | June Edition 2019

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