New Zealander Reveals Low Mastitis Rate

NEW ZEALAND – The mastitis rate in New Zealand is less than half of the USA and a quarter of the UK average.
calendar icon 8 January 2014
clock icon 2 minute read

The figures have been stated by Dairy NZ’s Chief Scientist Dr Eric Hillerton following a joint industry report on antibiotic usage.

Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ), Dairy NZ and the Ministry of Primary Industries compiled the report - issued last month - with the industry reaction being that antimicrobial technologies are vital.

The consensus is that prevention remains the best approach to reducing disease and preserving antibiotics.

“Ensuring their future effectiveness is in everyone's interest,” said Kimberley Crewther, Executive Officer at DCANZ.

"Antibiotics are an important tool in managing diseases for both humans and animals," she added. "The dairy industry's position on antibiotic use is to use as little as possible without compromising animal welfare."

Mrs Crewther added that focusing on animal health management systems was especially relevant for mastitis and lameness.

All animal owners have been reminded to work with veterinarians to ‘carefully manage antibiotics use’.

Meanwhile, Dairy NZ has announced the New Zealand dairy herd is on target to achieve its highest quality standard ever, based on cell count.

Dr Hillander stresses that animal health management is a partnership between dairy farmers and their veterinarians.

He added: “All treatments are recorded and the records of use are independently audited annually as part of the dairy processors requirements to manage milk quality risks and ensure only healthy animals contribute to milk supply.”

"Prudent use of antibiotics prescribed by veterinarians, along with key disease prevention and treatment strategies, is essential to minimise disease and safeguard animal welfare. The national mastitis control programmes developed and implemented by DairyNZ and industry partners ensure the quality of milk supplied from farms is world leading.”

He explained a prudent guide, in conjunction with the International Dairy Federation, has been drafted for antimicrobial use in dairy farming.

“This is currently being customised for New Zealand,” he concluded.

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