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The changing face of mastitis in Irish dairy herds
  1. Damien Barrett, MVB, MVM, MSc, CertCHP, DipECBHM
  1. Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Sligo Regional Veterinary Laboratory, Doonally, Sligo, Republic of Ireland
  1. e-mail: damien.barrett{at}

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MASTITIS is the most economically significant infectious disease affecting dairy cattle worldwide. It is also the foremost reason for antimicrobial therapy in dairy cattle. In dairy cows, it is likely that antimicrobial therapy, particularly dry cow therapy, will come under increasing scrutiny if antimicrobial use in dairy cattle is to be diminished.

Ireland currently has more than one million dairy cows and exports in excess of €3 billion worth of dairy products across the globe. The Irish dairy industry is about to embark on a dramatic expansion, involving a 50 per cent increase in dairy output by 2020 in a strategy called Food Harvest 2020. This will likely be achieved by significant expansion of the national herd. Such expansion and intensification creates significant challenges for animal …

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