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Kiwi Dairy Scientist President Of NMC

04 March 2011

NEW ZEALAND - DairyNZ Chief Scientist Dr Eric Hillerton has been appointed president of the international organisation the National Mastitis Council (NMC).

He is the first person from outside North America to lead the organisation in its 50-year history.

The NMC is devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality. It promotes research and provides information to the industry on udder health, milking management, milk quality and safety. It has approximately 1,700 members in more than 40 countries around the world.

Worldwide, mastitis is one of the most important diseases in dairy cattle because of the high incidence and the associated production losses. DairyNZ CEO Dr Tim Mackle says there are real benefits for New Zealand dairy farmers through DairyNZ’s involvement with NMC.

“Much of NMC’s work is about understanding how people deal with mastitis and udder health in other countries, and looking at what progress they are making. It’s about access to networks to know other people are doing and what they are achieving – and being able to distil the best of that information for New Zealand dairy farmers.”

Dr Hillerton says mastitis affects milk quality, so the consequences go beyond the farm.

“Udder health has become part of the image of milk: a high quality, healthy and nutritious product produced by healthy animals. Mastitis is also the main reason for the use of antibiotics on dairy farms,” he says.

“The advances in mastitis research in the last decade or so have given us better understanding and new technologies – for example, improved disease surveillance and enhanced disease resistance - that could have fundamental effects on dairy production as we now know it.

“The challenge is for us to ensure we use this to reduce the severity of mastitis and increase the production and profitability of dairy farms, as well as ensuring the safe and nutritious supply of dairy products to consumers throughout the world,” says Dr Hillerton.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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