CellCheck Newsletter August 2019 FINAL

August Edition 2019

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






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

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

CellCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie


Programme news

Finola McCoy, Programme Manager

W elcome to the CellCheck newsletter for August. The articles in this month’s newsletter focus on quality- aiming to deliver top quality milk over the summer, and Bord Bia’s Quality Assurance programme for dairy farms, Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme or SDAS. This month’s top tip reminds us to not to turn a blind eye to any increase in bulk tank somatic cell count (SCC) that we might see over the summer. This is not an inevitable outcome and “just the time of year”. It is in fact a clear indication of infected quarters in the herd. This infection can continue to spread over the rest of the lactation, costing you time and money. This month’s featured research article may be more than 20 years old, but it’s still relevant! It looks at the impact of milking infected cows separately, to prevent the spread of infection-one of the key recommendations in this month’s tip. Our guest contributor this month from Bord Bia, is LiamMc Cabe, who gives us an outline of the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme. He outlines clearly the importance from a marketing perspective, but also how the SDAS can inform farmers and allows them to benchmark their own production systems on the sustainability front. In last month’s newsletter, I suggested that it was never too early to start preparing for the dry period……and now we’re one month closer! Don’t forget that there is a free Dry Cow Consult available again this year for eligible herds, delivered through the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health, funded by the Rural Development Programme and coordinated by Animal Health Ireland. Applications are now being accepted, with assessment for eligibility being carried out at the start of October. For more information, Click here . The Dry Cow Consult is a perfect opportunity for farms to develop appropriate selective dry cow strategies in consultation with their veterinary practitioners. With the right hygiene, management and support, many herds are successfully reducing their antibiotic use at drying off. Commencing on September 30th AHI, in partnership with Teagasc and the local co-ops, will be running a 3-week series of on-farm drying off events, which will include hearing the experiences of farmers that have successfully been implementing a selective dry cow strategy, and how they have done it. Details of dates and locations will be available from the middle of August – so keep an eye on our website!


CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | August Edition 2019


The Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme Liam McCabe, Origin Green and Quality Assurance Division, Bord Bia

T he Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) was the first national dairy scheme of its kind when it was launched in 2013. SDAS was developed by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) representing Bord Bia – the Irish Food Board; Teagasc; the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI); the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM); industry (producers and processors) and other technical experts. We currently have in excess of 16,000 members which is >95% overall participation in the scheme. The SDAS has been developed in response to the demands of the marketplace. Increasingly, purchasers of Irish dairy products are requiring proof that the milk is produced sustainably on farms that are certified members of an accredited quality assurance scheme. It is widely accepted that Irish dairy farms produce milk in a sustainable manner, however, before the development and implementation of SDAS we had no way of quantifying our results. The SDAS has been designed to assess and record data to demonstrate the sustainability of Irish dairying in a systematic way at individual farm level. This provides the necessary proof to customers of dairy products that milk has been produced under the Sustainability and Quality Assurance criteria. A farm visit is conducted by an independent auditor on every member’s farm at 18 month intervals and a comprehensive report is produced on the performance of the farm under the Sustainability and Quality Assurance criteria. Currently, there is work ongoing to update SDAS and we envisage a revised standard to be released in 2020. In order to stay in line with increasing market and regulatory requirements, the new standard will have increased focus on the environment (in line with the climate action plan) and animal welfare.

The SDAS has been developed in response to the demands of the marketplace. Increasingly, purchasers of Irish dairy products are requiring proof that the milk is produced sustainably on farms that are certified members of an accredited quality assurance scheme.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | August Edition 2019



The two main components of the SDAS are Sustainability and Quality Assurance. Sustainability

As part of SDAS, Bord Bia auditors gather data during the audit process through the Sustainability Survey. This enables Bord Bia to assess the environmental performance of quality-assured farms via a carbon footprint calculation. The data gathered is now being used to generate a new farmer feedback report which includes a summary of farm performance under the following headings: General Farm Performance, Carbon Footprint, Greenhouse Gases, Nutrient Management, Grassland Management and Farm Health and Safety. The reported data will compare current farm performance against changes since the last SDAS audit and similar production systems. The purpose of the new farmer feedback report will be to demonstrate to members how their farm inputs and activities contribute to GHG production and will contain advice and feedback on how to mitigate against these emissions and improve production efficiencies. The advisory feedback is formulated in collaboration with Teagasc and will focus on measures set out in the Teagasc MACC curve. Quality Assurance The Scheme is accredited to the European Standard for Product Certification (ISO2 17065: 2012), as are all other Bord Bia National Quality Assurance Schemes. This means that they have been independently assessed and judged to be as good as or better than leading schemes in other countries. During the Bord Bia farm visit, members’ compliance in areas relating to legal, quality and customer requirements including farm safety and welfare, food safety, traceability and animal welfare is assessed. The primary objectives of the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme are: • To demonstrate to customers of dairy products that milk is produced sustainably under an accredited scheme; • To provide a uniform mechanism for recording and monitoring:

- Dairy farm quality assurance criteria and - The sustainability criteria of the farm. • To set out the criteria for best practice in Irish dairy farming; • To provide an on-going means of demonstrating best practice at producer level.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | August Edition 2019



Don’t ignore a summer SCC rise!

[Click here] for previously published tips

I s your bulk tank somatic cell count (SCC) starting to creep up slightly? If so, don’t ignore it! It is likely to be because the number of infected quarters in your herd is starting to increase a little, which in turn can lead to more infected quarters, and so on. High herd SCC in late lactation is generally because of spread of infection during the summer, not ‘just late lactation’. Don’t assume that small bulk tank SCC increases during the summer will ‘settle down’- act now, and set your herd up for late lactation, with minimal mastitis infections and maximum milk production. Despite an annual improvement in the average SCC of herds over the last few years, we still consistently see herd SCCs starting to rise from early summer. It then usually continues to creep up for the rest of the year. The financial impact of a ‘creeping’ SCC should not be underestimated. For example, at a milk price of 30c/L, if the average bulk tank SCC of a 100-cow herd increases from 150,000 cells/mL to 250,000 cells/mL, it reduces the overall farm profit by approx. €8,200. An additional €4,000 of extra profit is lost if the bulk tank SCC increases from 250,000 cells/mL to 350,000 cells/mL.

Milk record the whole herd now, and identify any high SCC cows i.e. SCC>200,000cells/mL

1. These high SCC cows should be marked and milked last to minimise disease spread. 2. Discuss a treatment plan with your veterinary practitioner - while treatment may appear to be the most logical option, remember that cure rates can range from 20-80% depending on various factors, such as the bacteria involved, the duration of infection and the cow’s lactation number. 3. Remove the source of infection -Dry off individual quarters i.e. simply stop milking it, do NOT use a dry cow tube. Consider culling if the cow is a repeat offender i.e. high SCC in two consecutive lactations.

For full details on dealing with high SCC cows, see Management Note M in the CellCheck Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control.


CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | August Edition 2019



1995 J Dairy Sci 78:2083-2085

Segregation or Use of Separate Milking Units for Cows Infected with Staphylococcus aureus : Effects on Prevalence of Infection and Bulk Tank Somatic Cell Count

DAVID J. WILSON, RUBEN N. GONZALEZ, and PHILIP M. SEARS 1 Quality Milk Promotion Services College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850

ABSTRACT Dairy herds (n = 76) with an initial prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus IMI ~10% were included in this study. Criteria were that herds did not change teat dipping or dry cow treatment practices, did not segregate cows that were positive for S. aureus at the initial visit, and did not cull >SO% of cows found to be positive on the initial visit. During a follow-up period (6 to 24 mo), segregation or separate milking of cows that were positive for S. aureus reduced prevalence from 29.S to 16.3% and bulk tank SCC from 600,000 to 34S,000/ml. Prevalence of S. aureus mastitis was unchanged for herds that did not segregate cows with S. aureus , 22.S to 20.2%, and the reduction in SCC from 698,000 to 484,000 for nonsegregated herds was also smaller. Segregation of cows that were known to be positive for S. aureus is an effective mastitis control practice.

KEY WORDS mastitis, Staphylococcus aureus , management)

1 Present address: Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | August Edition 2019



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



Tom Starr 087 6697010

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

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





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








Aoife Feeney afeeney@carbery.com 087 3484901. West Cork Carbery Group


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






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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