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How to reduce the use of antibiotics in your herd?

Are you aware of the adverse effects that the use of antibiotics has on your cattle breeding farm? Would you like to reduce all different costs associated to a sick herd?

Health problems not only cause pain and distress for dairy cattle, but they also have a huge impact on the economics of dairy and beef farms.

Generally, when we address the issue of how much a certain disease costs, we tend to think mainly of veterinarian and medication expenses but forget a crucial part - the indirect costs. Some of these indirect costs that can be overlooked include:

  • Extra time and labour costs
  • Fertility problems
  • Costs of preventive measures
  • Lost milk production
  • Culling costs
  • Genetic impact from losing the potentially best performing daughters.
  • Bigger risk of having another disease.

Therefore, when calculating the economic impact of a disease on your herd, it is crucial to consider the whole picture.

Improving the health of your herd does matter a lot

Is it possible to improve the health of your livestock, and therefore animal welfare, and maintain high production levels?

Yes, it is possible to accomplish when you breed for healthier animals. When you get fewer disease cases for each generation, your investment will pay off more for each time you reproduce your cows.

Permanent improvement in your herd

The genetic improvement that you achieve is permanent, and it accumulates through generations.
The prevalence of different health problems varies widely from farm to farm. No matter what production system you use, or what your current management level is, with VikingHolstein, VikingJersey and VikingRed you can achieve greater efficiency and reduce your costs by breeding for stronger resistance to diseases.
Once you reduce the use of antibiotics, you can focus more on management strategies to improve your dairy business. Remember, healthier cows mean a better life for you and your herd.

Lowest use of antibiotics

Sweden, Finland, and Denmark lead the world ranking concerning the lower use of antibiotics in cattle breeding.

The reason is that we have a tradition of avoiding antibiotics and hormones as a preventative treatment against diseases. We care about natural, healthy animals, and we have a responsibility for sustainable dairy production where people, environment and animals are in focus. 

Sweden, Finland, and Denmark have very strict veterinary regulations regarding the use of antibiotics with limited access to them.

These restrictions are the reason why dairy and beef farmers have been compelled to find other ways of keeping their cows healthy, and breeding for better health ensure success.

We have included health traits in our Nordic Total Merit (NTM), from the beginning – some of them from more than 40 years. As a result, our cows need fewer antibiotics due to a natural defence against diseases in their genes.

Healthy and high producing cows

When breeding for improved health, do you worry to compromise your milk production? Well, there is no need to give up on improving your milk yield, as production and health traits are taken into consideration in the NTM scale.

With data and science-driven genetics, you get the lowest use of antibiotics and hormones and the highest lifetime production per cow.

Choose our innovative breeding programmes that foster healthy, efficient, trouble-free cows with high production of milk and solids. They also have excellent fertility and a natural defence against disease.

Solution to reduce antibiotics use

At a time when the world is facing increased global concern about the use of antibiotics in livestock and the rise in antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, we are taking our responsibility by offering our innovative breeding on the three major cattle breeding programs: Holstein, Jersey, and Red Cattle Breeding.

Only by acting jointly on a global scale, can we tackle this problem and avoid the excessive and unnecessary use of antibiotics. Rising usage of antibiotics leads to more medicine resistant bacteria and the treatment of different illnesses becomes harder.

Antibiotic usage is main topic for world leaders

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has released a video for World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW). The Crown Princess speaks about the importance of combating antibiotic resistance. “Europe has always been at the forefront in the fight against AMR. I encourage each and every one of you to demonstrate your highest commitment.”