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Organic conform udder health concepts. How to reduce therapies

Walkenhorst, Michael; Notz, Christophe; Klocke, Peter; Spranger, Jörg and Heil, Fritz (2004) Organic conform udder health concepts. How to reduce therapies. Speech at: 2nd SAFO workshop. Development of organic livestock farming: potential and limitations of husbandry practice to secure animal health, welfare and food quality, University of Kassel in Witzenhausen, 25.-27.03.2004.

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Summary

Both consumers and governments expect quality products from healthy organic livestock. In consequence, keeping farm animals healthy has the highest priority in veterinary work on organic farms. Different Swiss FiBL projects in mastitis of the last years were aimed in health concepts conform to organic livestock principles.
One project includes 20 Farms (with an average of 15 cows per farm) of a Swiss high mountain region. It puts emphasis on milking hygiene, milking technology, mastitis treatment during lactation (homeopathy versus antibiosis) and dry-off treatment (homeopathy versus placebo and partially additional antibiotic). The overall result was a reduction of cows with a somatic cell count higher than 150’000/ml based on milk recording dates between January and May from 35% in 1998 to 17% in 2000. During the project the average number of treated mastitis cases per farm decreased from 10 to 4.
A second project considering farms in the north west of Switzerland was aimed at the implementation of an organically conform udder health concept putting emphasis on the reduction of the use of antibiotics. In order to achieve this, it was envisaged that factors contributing to mastitis will consistently be eliminated or at least reduced by implementation of herd health management and, in addition, by the establishment of complementary therapy and prophylaxis in udder health in co-operation with the veterinarian. On the 3 pilot farms a reduction in the use of antibiotics from 70 treatments per 100 cow and year in 2000 (previous the start of the project) to 2 treatments per 100 cow and year in 2002 (second project year) could be shown. Thereby, the udder health status of the herds remained stable with around 65% of cows with a somatic cell count lower than 100’000/ml.
The objective of the current project is the enlargement and implementation of the previous concept into practice. A project team of 5 veterinarians and 2 agronomists will collect data of mastitis causing factors on 100 new farms per year in Switzerland: housing, feeding, human-cow interaction, milking technology, milking hygiene. These data will be connected to the mastitis status of the herd based on quarter milk samples and milk recording dates. During a period of at least 2, years these farms will be intensively advised by the project team and the practical veterinarian. Therapies will primarily be based on homeopathic remedies. The development of mastitis causing factors and the mastitis status of the farms is followed up at regular intervals to show possible correlations between (changing) factors and mastitis status. In addition, an Internet based network of health data should be implemented for providing information for farmers and veterinarians in herd health management.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Speech
Keywords:Tiergesundheit, SAFONetwork, Mastitistherapie, Komplementärmedizin, Engadin, BAT, Pro-Q; Klinische Mittelprüfungen
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: European Union > Animal Health and Food Safety SAFO
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal Health
Related Links:http://www.safonetwork.org/workshops/ws2/presen/index.html, http://www.fibl.org/forschung/tiergesundheit/index.php
Deposited By: Walkenhorst, Michael
ID Code:2788
Deposited On:11 Jun 2004
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:29
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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