IDF 2015 - Update 3

Published 22 September 15

Jon Parry, AHDB Dairy head of extension, reports back from the animal health and welfare: sustaining animal health and animal welfare in milk production session at the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Dr. Elisabeth Erlacher-Vindel from OIE (France) highlighted responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials in dairy. She talked about the role the World Health Organization has in governing antimicrobial use, and highlighted the wide availability of counterfeit drugs that have no or low efficacy. She continued to explain there are four changes coming: reduced use for prevention, specificity of dry cow therapy, restriction of availability and the need for alternative methods to reduce and treat disease.  

Dr. Olav Østerås of TINE Advisory Services, Standing Commetee Animal health and Welfare of International Dairy Federation (Norway) focussed on the use of antibiotics and penicillin resistance of S.aureus in Norway. He explained that they have reduced antimicrobial use by 70% over 20 years. 

Dr Jamie Joncker from National Milk Producers Federation (USA) spoke about the antibiotic stewardship in the United States dairy industry and told the audience that every year 2m people in the USA are ill from antimicrobial resistant diseases and 23,000 die. 

Animal Welfare: Problems and Solutions was the third session of the day. 

Professor Weary from The University of British Columbia in Canada talked about public concerns in modern dairy farming. He then highlighted PhD studies looking at the level of motivation for cows to access to pasture and the socialisation of calves and feeding. 

Dr. Daniel Schwarz from FOSS in Denmark presented on the potential benefits of Ketosis screening.

Emily Meredith from National Milk Producers Federation (USA) outlined how FARM (assurance scheme similar to Red Tractor) was incorporating welfare standards in response to customer demand. 

Roi Mandel from Hebrew University in Israel outlined some of his research about on farm monitoring of cow behaviour and specifically "luxury" behaviours such as use of automated brushes.          

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