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Help eliminate Digital Dermatitis in your herd

Recent studies have shown that disinfecting foot trimming equipment can cut the spread of bacterial infection by up to 68%.

The study found that after disinfecting cattle blades, Treponeme, the bacteria responsible for causing digital dermatitis (DD), was only present on 29% of cattle trimming blades, compared to 97% of equipment not disinfected.

Alison Clark, Progiene’s product manager, explains the importance of the research in tackling lameness within the dairy industry. “Lameness remains a significant animal health and productivity issue, but this research highlights how the bacterial source can be significantly reduced through good hygiene practices,” she said.

“The importance of disinfecting foot trimming equipment between each animal was emphasised.”

Time, temperature and concentration are the key factors when looking to kill infectious bacteria responsible for causing lameness in cattle, adds Mrs Clark.

“Immersing the blade of any equipment that has been in contact with the hoof, in a solution containing a disinfectant, at a maximum concentration of 2%, which is the equivalent to 20ml per litre of cold water, is recommended.

“A broad spectrum disinfectant, based on the compound glutaraldehyde, such as Digicur, is one of the most effective methods of killing the bacteria.”

Digicur, has undergone efficacy lab tests, to ensure the most effective and efficient formulation to kill the main bacteria responsible for causing lameness in cattle.

Mrs Clark added: “The results of the laboratory test combined with on-farm anecdotal evidence, has proven Digicur to be an extremely versatile disinfectant that both cleans and disinfects equipment in just half a minute.

“Immersing the blade of foot trimming equipment in a solution containing Digicur, for a minimum of 30 seconds between each animal, can significantly reduce the risk of disease transmission between animals. I would also suggest changing the solution between every 10 animals to limit soiling and the risk of bacteria spreading.”

Mrs Clark also recommends washing down surfaces, and maintaining a good level of on-farm biosecurity as additional measures which should not be overlooked when tackling lameness within the herd.

“Contractors brought on-farm to do the foot trimming, are also a potential risk of infection. Encouraging them to disinfect all their equipment, including their boots, between farms is good practice and will reduce the risk of bringing in any new strains of bacteria.

“The more we can do to help with the spread of infection between animals and between farms can only help in tackling industry’s on-going challenge of lameness.”

Source: Western Morning News


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