Mastitis in dairy cattle is of considerable consequence in NZ, with estimates of over $200 million per annum loss of potential earnings caused by reduction in milk quality and decreased production (Blackwell & Lacy-Hulbert 2012).
Somatic cell count (SCC) is used by farmers for udder health monitoring–with an increase in cell count being an indicator of infection. On-farm, monitoring the bulk milk (BM) SCC is used to gauge sub-clinical mastitis infection in the herd. An increase in or a consistently high BM SCC can indicate infection. Herd Testing (HT) provides the individual animal SCC. The Smart SAMM guidelines Seasonal Approach to Managing Mastitis 2011 plan suggests a target for national average bulk-milk somatic cell count of less than 150,000 cells/ml (Woolford et al. 1995), BMSCC exceeding 400,000 cells/ml are subject to dairy company penalties. Individual animal SCCs of over 150,000 cells/ml, or 120,000 cells/ml for heifers, are indicative of an infection...
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 77, Rotorua, 95-96, 2017
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