Dairy experts discuss mastitis management

Thursday, 16 May, 2019

Dairy experts discuss mastitis management

Global experts in udder health from 25 countries recently gathered in Copenhagen to discuss how to reduce mastitis in dairy cattle and improve milk production.

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) ranked mastitis as one of the most important diseases impacting the dairy sector, and noted that prevention is better than cure. With this in mind, a conference organised by IDF and hosted by SEGES allowed attendees to share innovation and research on mastitis management.

Caroline Emond, IDF Director General, said: "Healthy and productive dairy animals are vital to the provision of a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply at a time of a rapidly increasing global population. Mastitis causes decreased productivity as well as food loss, due to discarded milk. Coordinated action is essential if the dairy sector is to achieve optimal management of this disorder, which is so important to maintaining and increasing sustainable milk production globally."

They also discussed antimicrobial use and concerns about increasing resistance.

Mastitis is the main reason for the consumption of antibiotics in milk production and ineffective mastitis management has been responsible for up to 85% of the antimicrobials used in the dairy sector, according to IDF's latest Animal Health Report.

While there has been a significant reduction in the rate of clinical mastitis during the last decade, new antimicrobial resistance (AMR) mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening the ability to treat common infectious diseases. The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is accelerating this process. IDF said single, isolated AMR interventions have limited impact, so it is crucial to have a common understanding of the issue at a national and global level.

"Scientists at IDF are acknowledged as world leaders in mastitis and the conference ... is a fantastic opportunity to share progress and lessons learned, which is fundamental to reducing mastitis in dairy cattle and to ensuring high milk quality and sustainable dairy products through the best possible scientific expertise,” said IDF Science and Standards Programme Manager María Sánchez Mainar.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Grant Shimmin

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