Faculteit Diergeneeskunde. Prof. dr. G. Opsomer Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Ghent University.

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1 Faculteit Diergeneeskunde Integrated veterinary herd health management as the basis for sustainable animal production (dairy herd health as an example) Prof. dr. G. Opsomer Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Ghent University. 1

2 Developments In Farming More free trade and competition in farm products Industrialization of farming - Animals in large units - Minimization of investment costs for animal facilities Individual productivity has increased very much by selected breeding Cows are pushed to the limits of their productivity 2

3 3

4 Consequences As an implicit consequence of these developments adverse effects have arisen: Animal health problems Impaired animal welfare The use of large amounts of medicines A high risk for residues 4

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6 Developments in CONSUMERS - CLIENTS Demand daily food at a low price Ask questions directed to animal welfare Are concerned about the amount of residues in food of animal origin 6

7 What to do? 7

8 The QUESTIONS are: How to keep animals in good health to improve animal welfare to produce safe food for a reasonable price? 8

9 Answer to the problem: To start a herd health management programme The veterinarian has to develop strategies to improve animal health and welfare and to produce safe food. He has a major responsability on these issues. Farmers should pay more attention to animal health and welfare and save food. 9

10 History of Health management Originally the emphasis was on the individual cow affected with a clinical disease. About 30 years ago subclinical disease was recognized as the major cause of economic loss It turned out that regularly scheduled visits to farms were effective in improving the health status. Because most health problems are complex and are of multifactorial origin. For example fertility and mastitis. 10

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12 HEALTH STATUS AND ANIMAL WELFARE Are mainly influenced by: Housing conditions Feeding Hygienic measures Infections Breeding and selection Management 12

13 For example: Fertility Fertility is influenced by Housing: slippery slatted floors and poor quality beddings Feeding: negative energy balance Hygiene: endometritis, abnormal discharge Infections: Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Breeding: high or low fertile bulls Management: : heat detection 13

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17 HERD HEALTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES (part 1) Goal: to eliminate production inefficiencies which are caused by factors that impair animal health Each dairy herd presents a unique combination of these factors It is the veterinarian s task to trace these factors and implement an integrated herd health and production management system 17

18 HERD HEALTH MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES (part 2) Goal: the animals and animal products entering the food chain (dairy, slaughterhouse) must be free from disease and residues In each dairy herd medicines are used. Strategies have to be developed to reduce the risk of residues in food of animal origin. The key person in such a programme is also the veterinarian. He has to ensure the quality of the animals and dairy products. 18

19 A herd health management programme Is a total quality assurance system, which consists of : Regularly scheduled veterinary activities Good herd management by the farmer 19

20 CONERNSTONES OF HERD HEALTH PROGRAMMES A competent veterinarian Cattle specialist Services must be delivered economically A farmer who is committed to the programme Comply with the recommendations of the veterinarian A good data recording system Simple Manual or computerized data recording 20 20

21 21

22 BENEFITS AND COSTS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT Cost effectiveness is essential Costs: - veterinary costs and medicine costs Benefits: - enhancement of the profitability of the farmer 22

23 Financial losses because of disease Reduced animal production (milk and calves) Less efficient production Mortality Reduced slaughter value Lost future income owing to disposal Veterinary costs 23

24 Losses because of disease Average loss per cow per year due to: reproductive failure: 60 Euro mastitis: 70 Euro lameness: 30 Euro other diseases: 70 Euro In total: 230 Euro. This is 30 % of the farmer s return to labour and management. 24

25 25

26 Analysis of costs and benefits Objective of a herd herd health programme: To change an average farmer into one belonging to the best 20 % Disease costs of these best 20 % amount to 115 Euro. 26

27 Benefits of a herd health programme A profit of 115 Euro per cow per year Improvement of animal welfare Satisfaction of having a healthy herd Better farm staff morale Higher quality of dairy products: less residues and more safe food 27

28 COSTS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT Veterinary costs for: the time required for data analysis the services on the farm preparations of reports and advices perhaps some extra medicines and vaccinations For example herd with 100 dairy cows: 90 minutes per month 28

29 Costs of a programme Veterinary costs per hour: 80 Example: Dairy herd of 100 cows: Per year, 12 visits of 90 minutes: Per cow per year: 15 or Per 100 kg milk: 15 cent 29

30 Costs and benefits analysis Costs: extra vaccines (800 ) = 2300 Benefits: 100 cows x 115 = Return on investment: 500 % 30

31 Conclusion: A dairy herd health management programme is an excellent investment! 31

32 PROTOCOL OF A HERD HEALTH PROGRAMME Regularly scheduled farm visits Recording and analysis of animal health and production data The provision of advices Good farm management by the producer 32

33 33

34 OBJECTIVE OF THE PROGRAMME To support the farmer in reaching his target of performance and farm goals For example: calving interval Set during the first visit: 400 days The actual performance is determined: 446 days The veterinarian analyses the problem: clinical examination of the cows and risk assessment Cost-effective corrective action is formulated 34

35 Calving interval too long Risk assessment: Housing: slippery slatted floors, cubicles are too small and beddings too hard resulting in too many stiff and lame cows Nutrition: body condition is too low 2-3 months post partum Management: time spent on oestrus detection is insufficient 35

36 HERD MANAGEMENT MEETING Should provide: a summary of the problem: calving interval too long the diagnosis made: poor oestrus detection and oestrus symptoms are difficult to see the reasons for failure to achieve the preset goals: lack of time, housing, nutrition recommendations for corrective actions: oestrus detection 3 times a day 20 minutes, improve dry and fresh cow feeding, roughen the slatted floors and improve cubicle beddings general advice: eradicate BVD 36

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39 OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME 1) to determine the actual performance of herd health and production Analysis of data: are the targets of performance reached? 2) to detect problems before they become economically significant Risk assessment: the presence of certain risk factors. How serious are they? Are corrective measures necessary? Cost benefit analysis 39

40 FOR EXAMPLE: LAMENESS Determine the actual performance. Last month 3% lame cows. The goal is reached. Detect problems before they become significant. Last month two cases of Mortellaro s disease Risk assessment: Herd level risk factors Individual cow risk factors Are corrective actions necessary? Nutrition Housing, hygiene { Foot trimming Stage of lactation Claw angle { Age 40

41 To detect problems before they become significant: INFECTIOUS eradication? DISEASES The herd is infected by BVD. What to do? Monitoring, vaccination and management practices or control? How to prevent a new infection?: Management practices are extremely important Closed dairy herd, quarantine, monitoring by blood sampling, vaccination Be always aware of notifiable diseases!!!! 41

42 42

43 VACCINATION Vaccination should not replace poor management. In many cases management and housing must be improved Vaccination needs an accurate diagnosis, usually after laboratory confirmation Vaccins must be admistered and stored correctly 43

44 ITEMS TO EXAMINE DURING A VISIT Fertility Udder health and milk quality Lameness Control of infectious diseases Nutrition and metabolic diseases Housing Culling and genetic improvement Health of young stock Animal welfare The use of medicines and food safety 44

45 45

46 ANIMAL WELFARE Objectives should be set for achieving optimal animal welfare Freedom From thirst, hunger and malnutrition From discomfort From pain, injury and disease From fear, distress To express normal behaviour The veterinarian should be the advocate for animal well being 46

47 THE USE OF MEDICINES AND FOOD SAFETY When pharmaceuticals are used then clear written instructions have to be provided Adequate withdrawal periods must be considered A drug use protocol and residue avoidance plan should be established Avoiding residues is a part of the veterinarian s task. 47

48 48

49 WHAT TO DISCUSS AT THE MANAGEMENT MEETING? Problems due to herd management practices e.g. oestrus detection Infections: e.g. BVD Prophylactic procedures: e.g. vaccinations Procedures required to determine disease causes: e.g. laboratory analysis Work to be done to achieve an increased health status or production performance Welfare issues; e.g. cubicle design Food safety issues: e.g. residues, zoonosis 49

50 WHAT TO DO AFTER THE VISIT? Following the visit, the veterinarian: Submits a written report describing the problems and the proposed actions Prescribes any necessary medical products Certificates the herd health status 50

51 FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS In the future, farmers will have to produce according to a total quality assurance system. Quality is defined in a broad sense. Involved are: The product The production method The production unit surroundings 51

52 Controlled are: The product: milk and meat The production method, including animal health and welfare The production unit: e.g. housing The farmer has to produce on the basis of a Good Agricultural Practice code His veterinarian has to act according to Good Veterinary Practice code 52

53 53

54 54

55 HACCP A herd health programme can be incorporated in different concepts of quality management: Hazard analysis critical control points ISO-9000 series For the application of quality management to animal health care and welfare, the HACCP concept is preferred and suggested by the EU. 55

56 HACCP Points along the food production chain, where possible hazards may occur, are identified. It is a combination of: Common sense Evaluation of risks These points are then strictly managed and monitored to make sure the process is under control 56

57 CONCLUSION Modern health care requires an integrated herd health programme and a close cooperation between a skilled farmer and a competent veterinarian. This will: Improve animal health and welfare Guarantee high food quality at reasonalbe prices In future a herd health management programme will be incorporated in a HACCP system

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60 Healthy milk from a HACCP certified farm 60

61 Thank you for your attention 61

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