Implementing selective dry cow therapy on farms across New York state
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Potter, Tracy; Forrestal, Amber; Capel, Michael; Nydam, Daryl
Selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is an effective way to use antimicrobials judiciously on dairy farms while decreasing treatment costs and maintaining herd health. In the Netherlands it has been enforced since 2014 and the national somatic cell count (SCC) has decreased. As of 2022 the European Union banned prophylactic use of antibiotics in animal source food production. Each year legislation with similar rules is proposed in New York state but has not yet passed. Many on-farm randomized trials in the USA, some conducted in NYS, show that when SDCT is implemented well, it does not detrimentally impact udder health. SDCT provides a way to save on treatment costs and ease product allocation when antibiotics are on backorder. However, adoption of the practice has been slow in the USA. To improve the adoption of this practice in New York, we formed a team of veterinarians to help interested dairy producers and their herd veterinarians (with financial reimbursement for their time) to implement SDCT successfully. Not all farms are a good fit for SDCT. Herds that wish to employ this management practice should already have good udder health (e.g. bulk tank SCC less than 250,000 cells/mL), control of contagious mastitis pathogens (e.g. Strep ag and Staph aureus), and routine detection of clinical mastitis cases. An in-depth discussion between the herd veterinarian and farm stakeholders before adoption is necessary. This discussion should include current practices (e.g. appropriate use of teat sealants), data available to make the selection process (e.g. DHIA test data), best practices for dry-off and dry pen management (e.g. SOPs for excellent hygiene during the dry-off procedure), and how to monitor progress going forward.
Papillon Agricultural Company and Progressive Dairy
PRO-DAIRY; dairy; Manager; somatic cell; antibiotics; cow; dry