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Digital dermatitis is an endemic infectious disease of cattle causing lameness and painful skin lesions predominantly on the heels and in the interdigital space. Historically, many UK dairy producers have relied on the use of antibiotic foot baths under the cascade (‘off-label’) to control digital dermatitis (Bell and others 2004). A recent survey showed a significant number (10/28) of dairy producers are still using regular antibiotic foot baths (Warburton 2017) when alternative, and arguably more effective, control strategies now exist. Anecdotal evidence suggests that producers do not always adhere to statutory milk and meat withdrawal times for these treatments.
In light of the recent advances in the control of …