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An investigation of the incidence, treatment strategies and financial implications of mastitis in organic and conventionally managed UK dairy herds

{Project} An investigation of the incidence, treatment strategies and financial implications of mastitis in organic and conventionally managed UK dairy herds. Runs 1996 - 1999. Project Leader(s): Unspecified, Reading University .

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This study will aim to develop and promote improved techniques and systems for the control and treatment of mastitis in both organic and conventional dairy cattle. The study will be composed of 6 specific objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Measurement of the level of mastitis in organic and convetional dairy production systems. Initially, review of relevant literature will be conducted. The DAISY database of 100 sentinel herd throughout the country will be analysed to estimate the mastitis in dairy herds (selected from a survey of all organic dairy farms) of varying size with different management systems will be monitored; this will include monthly California Milk Test monitoring of all lactating cows and collection of somatic cell count data. Milk records will also be collected from study farms; 2. Identification of predisposing factors influencing the incidence of mastitis in dairy cattle. Data on herd structure and dynamics will be collected and information on the ratio and nature of forage and concentrates used, grazing policy, mineral supplementation and feeding regimes will be obtained from all study herds. Different disease control therapies used to control mastitis will be identified; 3. Description of different control strategies adopted by farmers to identify and treat mastitis in dairy cattle. Matched conventional and organic farms will be identified for individual case studies to investigate in detail manageent strategies that influence mastitis. Detection procedures, principal control strategies, outcomes of treatment and recording ystems for mastitis will be monitored on all study farms; 4. Quantification of the production and financial losses due to mastitis and estimation of the cost benefit ratios of different control strategies. data will be collected from study farms to quantify production losses attributable to mastitis. A financial analysis of costs and inputs required fro mastitis control on organic and conventional farms will be conducted; 5. Comparison of the public health implications of mastitis control strategies employed on organic and conventional dairy farms. milk sampling and laboratory analysis will be conducted on all cows on study farms exhibiting clinical mastitis. Bulk milk samples will be regularly tested for antibiotic residues, and antibiotic use on study farms will be monitored; 6. Dissemination of study findings and promotion of improved mastitis control techniques to farmers. Results from the project will be published in appropriate scientific journals and released as press releases. Training workshops and seminars for farmers will be run and a scietific conference to discuss study findings will be organised. The study will help to highlight alternative mastitis control strategies which minimise farmers' dependence on antibiotic therapies while ensuring the health and welfare of the dairy cow and the production of high quality milk.

EPrint Type:Project description
Keywords:mastitis, incidence, financial, treatment, dairy, predisposing factors, management system, somatic cell count, control strategies, financial, antibiotic residue
Subjects: Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication > Technology transfer
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: UK > Univ. Reading, VEERU
Research funders: UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Project ID:OF0124T
Start Date:1 July 1996
End Date:30 June 1999
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:9973
Deposited On:13 Dec 2006
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:34

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