Practices take to NEC - Veterinary Practice
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InFocus

Practices take to NEC

went along to the first Dairy Event and Livestock Show to be held at the NEC

WE now have to get used to DELS,
rather than simply the Dairy Event,
which can be a little confusing.

For 2010, the annual gathering of
aspects of interest to dairy farmers
moved to the spacious National
Exhibition Centre with everything,
almost, under cover. With more stands
and more people attending, the show is
officially being referred to as a success.
Several people commented that there
was a buzz about the place but it was
not always easy to find particular
locations.

There was a strong
veterinary presence and
XL Vets walked away
with the Royal
Association of British
Dairy Farmers Prince
Philip Award for its
Farm Skills
presentation. The big
question was: “Who
will be going to the
palace for the presentation?”

Mentioned in the award criteria are
innovation, serving the needs of the
market and excellence in delivery. The
stand was interactive, set some
challenges for farmers and a veterinary
surgeon was assisting at each point. As
the initiative is only one year old there
were many smiley faces because the
effort has been recognised.

There was a stream of people
coming onto the stand and the lime green T shirts were easy to spot. With
individual veterinary practices also
exhibiting it was a simple task for XL
members to don a shirt and assist on
the stand before regaining their original
branding.

There were other relative
newcomers also displaying their
involvement with dairying. Clover
(www.clovergroup.eu) offers Clover Cell
Check. This has developed from the
Lancashire practice of Lambert,
Leonard & May and provides an analysis service of
mastitis and related data
to clients of other
practices as well as their
own herds.

The emphasis is to
forward the analysis to
the practice to pass on
to the farmer with their
own advisory notes. In
order to simplify the process, key points are
drawn out so that the herdsman can
make any changes necessary without being overwhelmed with data.
This may not be a unique service for mastitis but also being displayed were
Clover Book Store, Clover Cow Signals
Training, Clover Animal Health and
probably other Clover products,
launched in 2008, which are offered
with technical support.

Exhibiting for the first time and new
to the UK is Eurovet Animal Health
(www.eurovet-ah.co.uk). Established in
Holland over 40 years ago as a
veterinary wholesaler, Eurovet is
described as a “veterinary company
owned by veterinary surgeons for the
benefit of veterinary surgeons”.

Contract manufacturing has
developed strategically over the years
and the product range is continually
being developed. This has stimulated an
interesting opportunity for veterinary
surgeons to put forward that gem of an
idea, for therapy improvements or
formulations, that has arisen from their
experience.

If you have a product idea that you
wish to put forward, then Ruth Vernon would like to hear
from you
(r.vernon@
eurovet.co.uk). As a
past president of
the BCVA, who
entered industry
from practice, Ruth
is aware that cattle
vets often have a
wish list and the
company likes to
encourage practice-
based development.

Launched at the
show was a “brand new
rodenticide”.
Storm Secure is
said to deliver a
lethal dose of
flocomafen in a
single feed as a
grain-based
block. Concerns
over possible
effects on non-
target species have been addressed by a
user support programme. Further
information is available at
www.pestcontrol.basf.com.

Over the past three years, the
number of robotic milking units in the
UK has approximately doubled from
about 170 to 400. It is said that 80% of
the capital spend on dairy units has
been on robots.

Lely (www.lely.com) has the lion’s
share of the market with its red
products but with the mechanics of
attaching clusters and milking efficiently
clearly defined, developments are now
very much in the direction of improved
software.

Online analysis of cell count, fat and
protein are combined with rumination
and interest in the relationship of
regurgitation to disease developments.
Responders on the neck of the cow
utilise a microphone monitor to record
regurgitation during the day.

Analysis is available for the herd or
the individual animal with plus or minus
parameters to highlight variance from
the predicted. It is claimed that
rumination reflects disease 10 times
more accurately than activity meters.

Planning seminars

A series of Farm Health Planning
Seminars ran over the two days. Topics
covered included rearing young stock,
aids to fertility performance,
anthelmintic resistance, sustainable dairy
health planning, technology for mastitis
detection, infectious disease informed
decisions, pain relief in mastitis and
herd mobility scoring.

Of particular interest was the
presentation by Christianne Glossop on
raising the standards of biosecurity on
farm. Emphasising that there is no such
thing as perfect biosecurity, the idea was
planted that the topic for the farmer
represents a series of hurdles that need
to be identified and addressed to reduce
the risk of infection.

Referring to the work to reduce risks
to nucleus pig units with a developed
scoring system and the scoring tool for
TB developed by the RVC and trialled
in Wales, the value of an on-farm
biosecurity protocol was shown to be
worth developing. Biosecurity is about
minimising and managing risks: it is not
easy to measure but it is so much more than a bucketful of disinfectant.
The usual soapbox sessions at speakers’ corner ran throughout the two
days and Roger Blowey responded to
many comments and observations,
followed by Andy Biggs.

It is interesting to stand back and
observe because there is no reason for
people to stop and listen, there is no
seating and the speaker has to compete
for attention.

There are some worthwhile
exchanges and if you fancy having a go
you might speak to Roger and Andy
about it. They may not be aware, but
they were followed onto the box by a
forthright proponent of a fair deal for
dairy farmers from the milk buyers.
With a 6p variance in the farm gate
price, he soon collected a lively
audience.

Fun seemed to be a factor on the
pharmaceutical company stands. The
Ubrolexin white chocolate machine
attracted a flow of people dipping
strawberries, marshmallows and grapes
into the stream and often being unable
to retreat without dribbling some
chocolate down their front.

Maybe Boehringer should have
arranged for visitors to attend the
Intervet/Schering-Plough stand first and
collect an orange Mastiplan milking
apron and towel to provide choccie
protection. It is unlikely that the grass-
covered hats from Pfizer would have
helped…

Merial promoted that “crime doesn’t
pay” and the theme “Don’t let
gutworms steal your milk”, with
Eprinex to the rescue complete with
police car, interview room and
handcuffs.

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