All 107 dairy farmers in South-West Scotland and North-West England belonging to a producer group signed up to a scheme to reduce inhibitory substance (antibiotic) failures. Initial meetings were held in December 2014/January 2015 to discuss the responsible use of medicines, and put forward a 10 point plan for avoiding antibiotic residues in milk. In 2014 (the year prior to the scheme commencing), there were 47 recorded failures in the producer group. This was reduced to 22 failures in 2015, 14 failures in 2016, and 5 failures in the period January to May 2017. The majority of failures were associated with human error such as incorrectly identified cows, accidental transfer of contaminated milk, and cows with poor/inadequate records. Over half the failures involved lactating cow intramammary tubes, and a quarter involved dry cow intramammary tubes. Analysis for potential risk factors showed no significant associations with herd size, BMSCC, Bactoscan, milk yield, number of stockspersons, use of relief milkers, use of internal teat sealants, performing mastitis bacteriology, use of antibiotic testing kits, purchased stock or BVD status. Highlighting practical measures to avoid antibiotic residues entering the bulk tank was sufficient to result in a substantial reduction in recorded failures.
|Publication status||Published - 19 Oct 2017|