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New Zealand Mastitis Vaccine Trial Yields “Positive” Results

03 June 2015

NEW ZEALAND – A mastitis vaccine tried and tested in Europe is having an effect under New Zealand conditions.

Staphylococcus Aureus vaccine Startvac has been shown to work in the more seasonal and pasture-based systems of New Zealand, preliminary data shows.

The difference between mastitis rates in treated and untreated cows is 11.5 per cent and 13.3 per cent respectively, although the New Zealand Veterinary Association hopes for more research to judge vaccine efficacy.

Commercial mastitis vaccines have been successful in Europe, but Dr Mark Bryan has tested the product as elements of New Zealand’s dairying system align closer with European farming.

This is as intensification grips kiwi milk production, although fundamental differences remain. 

He said: “We need to assess how the vaccine performs under New Zealand conditions, particularly in reducing the number of clinical cases and Somatic Cell Count (SCC).

“The two key differences in the New Zealand system compared to the European are the seasonality of our industry and its pastorality.

“Most cows are grazed outside for the majority of the year, on pasture or other crops. However, with changes in intensification, New Zealand’s dairy industry is becoming more similar to the European industry every season.”

Early study findings were unveiled at the Pan Pacific Veterinary Conference in Brisbane last week.

Working across 16 dairy farms and over 8,800 cows, the trials evaluated the vaccine across three main dairying regions of the country.

TheCattleSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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