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Farm Animal Practice
The environment and mastitis
  1. Roger Blowey

    Roger Blowey has been a partner in a large mixed practice in Gloucester for over 25 years. He is an RCVS Specialist in Cattle Health and Production and, in 1995, was awarded an FRCVS for meritorious contributions to learning.

  2. Peter Edmondson

    Peter Edmondson is a partner in a large, predominantly dairy, practice in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. He holds the RCVS certificate in cattle health and production and was awarded an FRCVS in 1994. Heisan RCVS Specialist in Cattle Health and Production.


THE past 30 or so years have seen a considerable reduction in the incidence of clinical mastitis, with the national average now 43 cases per 100 cows per annum compared with over 120 in 1968. This reduction has been achieved through the adoption of the then National Institute for Research in Dairying's 'Five Point Plan' which has reduced the amount of contagious mastitis and has led to a fall in the national cell count from over 600,000/ml in the late 1960s to under 180,000/ml in 1998. Over this period the level of environmental clinical mastitis has increased slightly. This may be due to the larger herd sizes, the pressures put on the environment during the housed period and the greater milk flow rates associated with higher yields which have produced an increasingly open teat canal. This article discusses the principal risk factors associated with environmental mastitis and sets out a number of practical control measures.

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