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Department issues advice on use of antibiotics for foot bathing cattle

on Monday, 10 September 2018. Posted in Blog, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

In recent times, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, (DAFM) has received queries about the use of soluble antibiotic powders, including erythromycin and lincomycin, in footbaths to treat lameness, mainly caused by digital dermatitis in cows.

Bovine lameness can be a serious issue particularly in dairy herds, leading to welfare issues and economic loss, therefore it is essential that lameness is correctly diagnosed and that an effective lameness control programme is implemented by the farmer in conjunction with the herd veterinary practitioner.

There are currently no antibiotics licensed in Ireland for use in footbaths however, there are other licensed treatments available. Recent research has shown that the use of antibiotic foot baths only provides short-lived relief for affected cattle, with many cattle remaining acutely or chronically infected.

The practice of using antibiotics in foot bathing solutions for cattle is based on their use ‘off-label’ – that is using a product for a purpose for which it is not authorised. The unauthorised use of a veterinary medicine carries a significant risk to public health, due to potential residues in milk or meat in treated animals, contribution to antimicrobial resistance, and possible environmental contamination.  Unauthorised use of veterinary medicines in food producing animals poses reputational risks to our agri-food sector.

The antibiotics that DAFM has received queries about in relation to foot bathing cattle are among our most critically important antimicrobials.  These antimicrobials are of huge importance in treating life-threatening infections in humans. Improved animal health and disease prevention, and using antimicrobials only when necessary in food animals are key steps to reducing the development and spread of antibiotic resistance.

What is Digital Dermatitis?

Bovine lameness is a complex issue with many causes and is costly for a herd.  The underlying cause should be diagnosed by a Veterinary Practitioner.  Digital dermatitis, commonly known as ‘Mortellaro’ is one specific cause of lameness, this is caused by bacteria and can be a very painful condition, resulting in welfare implications for animals in the herd.

THIS WEEK’S CATTLE FACTORY PRICES

Check out the prices reported as quoted or paid to IFA Members this week.

  • Steer base €3.85/kg.
  • Heifers €3.95/kg.
  • Young Bulls R/U €3.90 – 4.05/kg.
  • Cows €2.90/3.60/kg.
  • In-spec bonus 12c/kg above base price.

FACTORY BASE QUOTES C/KG

 

Steers

Heifers

Cows

Dunbia

385

395

290 - 350

Kepak Athleague

385

395

290 - 350

Moyvalley Meats

385

395

290 - 350

Euro Farm Foods

385

395

290 - 350

ABP Clones

385

395

 

Lamb Price Update

Factories paying €4.80/4.90. Tops €4.95. Ewes €2.70/2.80/kg.

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