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- PublicationTrends in estimated intramammary antimicrobial usage in the Irish dairy industry from 2003 to 2019The objective of this study is to update earlier work on intramammary (IM) antimicrobial (AM) usage in Ireland. There is a need to measure AM usage in food-producing animals given increasing societal concerns about AM resistance as well as recent regulatory changes that dictate changes in how AM are used in food-producing animals and how AM sales and usage are recorded. National sales data were collected and used in this analysis. Sales of the number of IM AM tubes and amount of active ingredient sold were analyzed each year by product type [in-lactation (LC) therapy and dry cow (DC) therapy] and classification system (World Health Organization and more recent European Medicine Agency). Descriptive trends in estimated IM AM use are presented, including defined course dose (DCDvet; a technical unit for on-farm usage). There has been a decrease in estimated on-farm usage of IM AM during lactation, from 0.48 DCDvet/cow per year in 2015 to 0.43 DCDvet/cow per year in 2019. Almost all LC therapies sold include critically important AM (CIA), with 98% of the total DCDvet administered for LC therapy in 2019 containing at least 1 CIA. There has been a slow increase in tubes containing at least 1 highest priority CIA in LC therapies, from 0.01 DCDvet/cow per year in 2003, accounting for 2% of the total DCDvet administered for LC therapy, to 0.03 DCDvet/cow per year in 2019, accounting for 7% of the total DCDvet administered for LC use. The estimated usage of IM AM DC therapy has decreased from 1.09 DCDvet/cow per year in 2015 to 0.95 DCDvet/cow per year in 2019. In the last 5 yr, more than 40% of the total DC DCDvet administered contained at least 1 CIA, and there has been an increase in recent years in the percentage of the total DC DCDvet administered that contains at least 1 highest priority CIA, driven mainly by use of fourth-generation cephalosporin. This work provides further insights into IM AM usage in Ireland and highlights some important areas for attention, including availability of farm-level usage data, prescribing practices, and usage of important AM.
- PublicationThe impact of removal of the seasonality formula on the eligibility of Irish herds to supply raw milk for processing of dairy productsBackground: The dairy industry in Ireland is expanding rapidly, with a focus on the production of high quality milk. Somatic cell counts (SCC) are an important indicator both of udder health and milk quality. Milk sold by Irish farmers for manufacture must comply with EU regulations. Irish SCC data is also subject to a monthly seasonal adjustment, for four months from November to February, on account of the seasonality of milk production in Ireland. In a recent study, however, there was no evidence of a dilution effect on SCC with increasing milk yield in Irish dairy cattle. The aim of this paper is to estimate the impact of removal of the seasonality formula on the eligibility of Irish herds to supply raw milk for processing of dairy products. Methods: Bulk tank SCC data from 2013 were collected from 14 cooperatives in Ireland. The geometric mean of SCC test results was calculated for each calendar month. We then calculated the number of herds and volume of milk supplied falling in three SCC categories (400,000 cells/mL) in Ireland during 2013 based on their geometric mean SCC every month. Each herd was assigned an ‘eligibility to supply’ status (always compliant, under warning (first warning, second warning, third warning) and liable for suspension) each month based on their 3-month rolling geometric mean, using methods as outlined in EU and Irish legislation. Two methods were used to calculate the 3-month rolling geometric mean. We then determined the number of herds and volume of milk supplied by ‘eligibility to supply’ status in Ireland during 2013. All calculations were conducted with and without the seasonality adjustment. Results: The analyses were performed on 2,124,864 records, including 1,571,363 SCC test results from 16,740 herds. With the seasonality adjustment in place, 860 (5.1%) or 854 (5.1%) of herds should have been liable for suspension during 2013 if calculation method 1 or 2, respectively, had been used. If the seasonality adjustment were removed, it is estimated that the number of herds liable for suspension would increase from 860 to 974 (13.2% increase) using calculation method 1, or from 854 to 964 (12.9% increase) using calculation method 2. Conclusions: The modelled impact of such removal would be relatively minor, based on available data, regardless of the method used to calculate the 3-month rolling geometric mean. The focus of the current study was quite narrow, effectively from July to December 2013. Therefore, the results are an underestimate of the total number of herds liable for suspension during 2013. They may also underestimate the true percentage change in herds liable for suspension, with the removal of the seasonality formula. A national herd identifier was lacking from a sizeable percentage of the 2013 bulk tank SCC data, but will be needed if these data are to be meaningfully used for this or other purposes.
247Scopus© Citations 2
- PublicationThe new Veterinary Medicines Regulation: rising to the challengeThis article focuses on the new Veterinary Medicines Regulation, which is applicable across all Member States of the European Union, including Ireland, from 28 January 2022. From this date, prophylactic use of antimicrobials (AMs) in groups of animals is banned, metaphylactic use in groups of animals is restricted, and certain AMs are reserved for humans only. In the Irish dairy industry, as elsewhere, successful implementation of the Regulation will require a high level of mastitis control across all herds, and measures to support high standards in antibiotic stewardship. National actions will be critical, to support optimal mastitis control throughout the national herd. For private veterinary practitioners (PVPs), the Regulation will lead to specific prescribing changes, including the requirement to shift from blanket to selective dry cow therapy. Further, prescribing choices will need to be guided by the categorisation for AMs developed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). More broadly, the Regulation requires a fundamental shift in thinking both in terms of AM usage and of the role of the PVP. Given the close association between mastitis control and intramammary AM stewardship, it is imperative that prescribing and mastitis control decisions are made concurrently. A herd health approach will be critical, within a Client-Patient-Practice Relationship as outlined by the Veterinary Council of Ireland. On those farms with sub-optimal mastitis control, mastitis issues need to be sustainably resolved. A detailed farm investigation by the PVP, in partnership with the farmer and other milk quality professionals, is essential, to understand the epidemiology and on-farm drivers of mastitis, to develop farm-specific action plans, and to facilitate ongoing monitoring of progress. It is vital that PVPs provide leadership, with the provision of a holistic, herd health approach to inform both prescribing and mastitis control decisions in herds under their care.
17Scopus© Citations 1
- PublicationIntramammary antimicrobial sales in Ireland: a 2020 descriptive updateIntramammary (IM) antimicrobial sales data are currently the only feasible means to gain broad insights into on-farm usage of antimicrobials (AMs) relevant to mastitis control within the Irish dairy industry. The aim of this study was to update earlier work describing sales data of intramammary antimicrobial usage in the Irish dairy industry in 2020. Previously reported data from 2013 to 2019 is included for reference and 2020 sales data is reported using similar methodology to previously published work in this area. Data on IM AMs sold in Ireland during 2013-2020 were obtained from two sources, believed to represent 99% of all sales of IM AMs in Ireland, and analyses were undertaken to evaluate patterns in IM AM sales. We report an increase in overall sales of both lactating cow (LC) and dry cow (DC) IM AMs. We observed a large increase in the use of DC IM AMs, from 0.95 to 1.13 defined course dose (DCDvet) per cow per year in 2019 and 2020 respectively, as well as evidence of ongoing usage of highest priority critically important AMs, as defined by the World Health Organization. There was also a slight increase in LC use of IM AMs, from 0.43 to 0.44 defined course dose (DCDvet) per cow per year. We believe that our results provide an accurate reflection of IM sales in Ireland in 2020. In common with any study of this type, caution is needed when interpreting national IM AM sales data, noting the potential discrepancies between AM sales and on-farm usage. Nonetheless, the sales pattern described here, most importantly the increased use of DC products and ongoing and increasing use of HP CIA products in both DC and LC therapy raise significant concerns for the Irish dairy industry. This study provides an evidence base to inform current policy discussions, particularly in the context of the new Veterinary Medicines Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/6), which comes into force on 28 January 2022.
28Scopus© Citations 1