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Dairy Cattle

Select the links below to view the session details. Sessions will be updated as information becomes available.

Tuesday 19 June

Welcome and introduction from the president of the Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians.

Legislative changes within New Zealand will lead to mandatory use of local anaesthetic at calf disbudding. This study looked at local infiltration over the horn bud as an alternative to the cornual block. Evidence is presented that local infiltration is faster in onset, more effective during disbudding and equally effective after disbudding in alleviating pain.

The aim of this study was to evaluate if alternative disbudding techniques, such as cryosurgery or administration of clove oil under the horn bud, are as efficacious as cautery disbudding at preventing horn growth. Initial findings suggest that administration of clove oil is as efficacious as cautery disbudding.

The effect of injecting a trace mineral supplement on calf morbidity, mortality and growth from birth to 150 days of age was investigated using a multi farm trial enrolling 1000 calves. Supplementation significantly decreased the morbidity and mortality of calves but had no effect on growth rate.

Se deficiency is one of the most commonly diagnosed nutrition problems in dairy cattle. In New Zealand our current recommendations for Se supplementation are 1/10 of the recommendations in the NRC. With higher production, greater stress and increased use of by-products surely we should be supplementing Se at NRC levels rather than using recommendations which were set over 20 years ago and based on data some of which is over 30 years old?

Increasing focus on use of dry cow antibiotics is changing the way that farmers and vets approach drying off. This paper will present key findings from a study of dry cow management practices in 2017 to identify risk factors and farmer perspectives on more targeted use of dry cow antibiotics.

Due to costs, time taken and complexity, few dairy herds have any information on minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of common mastitis pathogens to aid prescribing. A novel system to isolate patterns in the bulk tank and determine MIC has been developed for which preliminary results will be provided.

This presentation is on our practices experience in rolling out the Antibiogram. We will cover how we introduced it to farmers and encouraged uptake, as well as some of the interesting findings, perceived farmer value and future recommendations.

Speed and gentleness of milking are the primary measures of milking liner performance. Experimental work conducted in the past five years has improved our understanding of how liner geometry and milking plant configuration affects these measures.

Members of the Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians of the NZVA are encouraged to attend.

Tickets cost $95 - includes transportation, dinner and drinks. Limited to 100 people.

Wednesday 20 June

The Dairy Cattle stream will join the Epidemiology & Food Safety, Animal Welfare and Biosecurity streams from 10.30am - 12.30pm.

Two hundred dairy farms were randomly selected from a population database. Twenty paired blood and urine samples were taken from adult cows on each farm. Sera were tested using the Microscopic agglutination test against five endemic serovars (Hardjobovis, Pomona, Copenhageni, Ballum, Tarassovi) with a cut point of ≥48 being positive. Urine was tested using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) using gyrB as the target gene. Using shedding as the outcome, on-farm risk factors were analysed by multivariable logistic regression.

Johne's disease continues to cause significant losses to a number of New Zealand dairy farmers. This presentation aims to outline the tools currently available to New Zealand veterinarians to allow them to develop cost-effective and practical management plans with their clients. "Big ticket" management practices will also be highlighted.

An outbreak of clinical IBR disease was experienced in an NZ dairy herd during lactation. An investigation was undertaken to determine if there were measurable effects of IBR exposure and seroconversion on milk production and reproduction during the lactation. The presentation will cover the design and results of the study.

The paper will present a summary of what is known about Mycoplasma bovis in other countries, particularly over the past 10 years when it appears to have become more important in several places. The paper will include a discussion of what was known about Mycoplasma disease in cattle in New Zealand prior to the outbreak in 2017.

As part of the MPI Mycoplasma bovis response, one of the primary challenges has been reliable detection of the agent in drystock, particularly the many trace calves that form animal movements from infected properties. This talk will discuss the challenges of detecting this agent in calves and young drystock, and will cover the formal MPI recommendations for commercial testing, and their rationale.

This presentation provides an overview of the current hypothesis of disease introduction, followed by assessments of the likely source and timing of disease introduction and spread of infection in New Zealand.

Understanding what good animal welfare is and how it can be assessed across a range of environments must be a key priority for ensuring the health and welfare of animals in their association with humans. Until recently animal welfare assessment traditionally relied on measures of physical health, and changes in behaviour and physiology related to negative emotional states such as pain and stress. We now recognize that good welfare is not simply the absence of disease or negative experiences, but also the possibility for, and presence of, positive emotional experiences such as pleasure and even happiness. To ensure that an animal’s welfare needs are met, we need to develop reliable methods for recognizing and assessing the range of animal emotions, as well as judge their importance from the animal’s point of view.

This paper is a worldwide first presenting the key personality characteristics of veterinarians who have proved themselves job fit by surviving more than 30 years in clinical practice. It is suggested that such evidence will better inform the process of selection for admission to veterinary school.

Members of the NZVA and VPIS are encouraged to attend.

Farm systems are constantly evolving. Alongside this, expectations around animal welfare are increasing. For those modifying farm systems, there are limited options to determine the impact of their changes on a cow’s needs. DairyNZ and AgResearch are developing a method for determining if a farm system meets a cow’s needs.

DairyNZ and AgResearch undertook a review of heat and cold stress in New Zealand’s dairy herds, drawing together a literature review and information from interviews with farmers. An agreed position statement was formed with industry stakeholders, and a workplan developed to improve mitigation of thermal stress on farm.

This paper will discuss the next tranche of 60 animal welfare regulations due to come into effect on 1 October 2018 and what relevance the regulations have to veterinarians working with dairy cattle and other livestock production animals. The vast majority of the requirements in the regulations are not new they currently exist as minimum standards in Codes of Welfare. Raising these minimum standards to the level of regulations gives these welfare issues a higher profile and a greater focus for industry and regulators. MPI and industry organisations, including NZVA and VCNZ, are working on the development of a national communications strategy to ensure all relevant parties (and persons in charge) are aware of the regulations before they come into effect, and are getting a consistent message from all stakeholder organisations. The paper will discuss the learnings from the implementation of calf regulations in 2016/17 and the role of veterinarians in supporting their clients to meet animal welfare standards, in particular the 2018 regulations.

Thursday 21 June

The Dairy Cattle stream will join with the Companion Animal stream from 11.30am - 12.30pm.

A large clinical study was undertaken to investigate the effect on pregnancy rates of increasing the dose of prostaglandin on day 7 of a progesterone treatment program in NZ non-cycling dairy cows. The presentation will cover the design and results of the study.

Your dairy clients including farm owners, contract milkers and sharemilkers will all be in different financial positions and have different financial drivers. This presentation will provide some quick and effective approaches for non-financial specialists, so you can understand your client’s financial situation and provide your specialist advice within this context.

As a result of the recent Mycoplasma bovisresponse in the South Island, "biosecurity" is the buzz, catch-all phrase of the moment. Currently available tools to discuss biosecurity with your clients will be discussed, as well as some comments on the challenges faced when Australian vets have attempted these same conversations with their farmers.

Since the veterinary programme opened at Massey University the selection of students was based almost solely on academic performance. For multiple reasons a formal review of the veterinary selection process commenced in 2013. Fast forward 5 years and where are we? The revised selection process including assessment of non-academic performance was implemented in 2017. While still early days, this presentation will address how the initial selection went.

This presentation describes evidence based communication strategies to manage challenging conversations and create a productive healthy work environment. Effective listening skills, assertion skills and conflict resolution methods will be introduced. These strategies can be used with staff, clients or industry partners to build rapport, trust and prevent and resolve workplace conflict.

This talk summarises a project to job-size vets in a structured and analytical process to define what positions of similar training, responsibility etc are paid.

New research is finding ways to reduce animal attrition and health-related productivity losses, while increasing reproductive performance in dairy herds. A key focus is to improve transition cow health and in-calf rates. Animals with “low” vs. “high” fertility breeding values are also being studied to accelerate genetic gain in fertility.

Accurate and unbiased measurement of culling and mortality is important to evaluate farm reproductive and animal health programmes. We present new information on how farmers record these events and how these data can be measured and interpreted.

The incidence of culling and mortality affects many aspects of a dairy farm's system, including the financial costs of rearing replacements and the income received from milk production and sale of surplus replacements or culled cows. We modeled an average dairy farm and demonstrated the financial benefits of reduced incidence of culling and mortality.

This presentation covers the effects of pre-calving live weight (from three to 21 months of age) on milk production of dairy heifers in the first lactation. Is there such a thing as too heavy? Or is bigger always better?

Beef bulls offer advantages and risks for dairy herds. This talk draws on experimental work from the Beef+Lamb NZ Genetics dairy beef progeny test to discuss options for identifying beef bulls that are appropriate for use over dairy cows and over dairy heifers.

In June 2014 the owner of a large scale dairy operation requested help with an apparently worsening problem with laminitis in his weaned heifer replacements. This paper will cover the historical incidence, discuss a possible aetiology and outline the strategies implemented in the Spring of 2014 to address the issue.


Field Trip & Breakfast
Social Activities
Your Stay

The conference is organised and hosted by the New Zealand Veterinary Association.

You can contact us here.

Thank you to our Industry Partners

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Royal Canin
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