World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Every year from 18 to 24 November, we acknowledge the importance of using antibiotics correctly in humans and animals to stop antimicrobial resistance. The Belgian livestock production has made a lot of progression in the past 10 years: the overall use of antibiotics have decreased with 40%, and the critically important antibiotics have even declined 70% [1].

Mastitis is the predominant reason to use antibiotics in dairy cattle [2]. So we can make the most progress regarding antimicrobial use in adult dairy cattle by focusing on udder health.

From that point of view, Cow Coach organized an event on udder health together with Vetoquinol, Lely Center Brugge and the European DISARM-project on the dairy farm of Tom Van Nespen. Tom demonstrates it is possible to reduce the use of antibiotics while maintaining a good udder health. After transitioning to automatic milking 2 years ago, the cell count remained more or less the same. The total number of intramammary tubes for mastitis treatments declined with 77%. In 2020, only 5 cows (out of a herd of 150 lactating animals) were treated for mastitis. 

In the video below we look back at the study day of October 21.


[1] AMCRA Persbericht 18-11-2021: “Internationale week van de sensibilisering voor verstandig gebruik van antibiotica: Inspanningen en resultaten van de dierlijke sector binnen het ‘One Health’ perspectief”. 

[2] Stevens M., et al. 2016. Quantification of antimicrobial consumption in adult cattle on dairy herds in Flanders, Belgium, and associations with udder health, milk quality, and production performance. Journal of Dairy Science 99(3), P. 2118-2130.