With Easter now over for another year we are all hoping that the weather will start to improve allowing grass to grow. We have re-tested the doubtful animals found at TB test in Dalton and these have thankfully tested clear. The workload this month includes getting prepared for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which are due to be implemented in May. This means that we need your permission to store your details on our records, as well as approval of how we contact you with relevant information. You should all receive communication from Vetsglobal Ltd or Verifac asking for that permission so that we will be compliant with the regulations. As part of this Verifac will be encrypting the data we hold on the computer so that it cannot be accessed by anyone else.
Antibiotic use continues to be a major topic in the farming industry with the dairy company Müller trying to encourage their suppliers to look at ways to reduce usage in their cows. If you supply milk to Müller, you will soon receive an invitation to an event to look at this in more detail. Let us know if you do so we can also attend to help you fulfil your obligations.
There is also a course available for those of you who are interested in reducing the risk of drug residues in your bulk tank. Antibiotic failures in the bulk tank in the UK stand about 0.25% of daily collections, which is 10 times higher than in the USA and some parts of Europe. This equates to about 1200 bulk tanks a year, with about 700 farmers having one failure per year and 300 having more than one. The milksure course will look at the reasons for this and ways you can reduce your chances of being one of those farmers. The information discussed will include the correct use of drugs –are they being used as recommended on the datasheet. If not then the withdrawal period will be different. Take Tetra delta tubes, for example, datasheet treatment is one tube, to be repeated at 24 hours if required. If you use one tube at each milking then that is ’off data sheet’ and so a standard milk withdrawal of 7 days after the last tube should be applied. As well as considering antibiotics it will make you think about other drugs including pain killers and fluke and worm treatments.
Some of you may well be using delvo tests to check that there is no antibiotic residue before you let the milk into the tank. These kits are really sensitive for some antibiotics but of no use for others, so you need to be careful. There is a new test been developed that is now capable of identifying which drug has caused any failures, as well as detecting drugs like Metacam. More information is available at milksure.co.uk or you can give us a call if you want any more information or to take the course.
Bovidec vaccine to reduce the risk of BVD infection in the herd is no longer being manufactured but there is still some available in the supply chain. Once this has been used it will be necessary to look at using BOVELA instead.
There are also problems getting Leptavoid with limited stock available. Again there is an alternative on the market but demand for this is likely to be increased so may also be difficult to obtain. If you usually vaccinate your cows in spring please order as soon as possible so we can try and get it for you.
Don’t forget to order your Huskvac to protect replacements heifers against lungworm—still, the most efficient way to prevent a damaging outbreak in your milk cows in late summer. It has become an increasing problem over the last few years.
Remember to worm sheepdogs to reduce the risk of them passing tapeworm to your lambs which may result in total condemnation at slaughter.