Article Text

A large scale mastitis control programme in Somerset
  1. GC Brander,
  2. JH Watkins and
  3. RP Gard

Abstract

The results of a mastitis control programme operated in south west England for three years are given. Farmers participating in the full mastitis control group agreed to treat each cow at drying off with 500 mg benzathine cloxacillin in each quarter, to have their milking machines tested and to correct any faults, and to practise teat dipping. Data covering cell counts, milk production, milk quality and clinical mastitis, were assessed from herds taking part in the programme. Cell counts were analysed from all 507 herds taking part in the programme. Milk production records for the full mastitis control group (188 herds) over a three year period are discussed, and these results compared with milk production figures from Milk Marketing Board records from herds in the south west of England which were carrying out no specific mastitis control programme. The milk quality data compare the findings in 159 herds in the full mastitis control programme with those in 247 herds in the partial and no mastitis control groups. Cases of clinical mastitis during the three year period were recorded in 73 herds in the full mastitis control group. The problems of applying the control routines are presented with observations on clinical mastitis, bulk milk cell count, milk production and milk quality. After three years, herds in the programme had on average increased milk production by 75 gallons a cow, achieved a 14.6 per cent reduction in the incidence of clinical mastitis, and improved the milk total solids percentage by one milk quality payment class.

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