Mycoplasma need not cripple dairy profitability American vet.
USA Vet Dr Paul Dettloff on Mycoplasma bovis
Mycoplasma bovis infection, now spreading throughout NZ dairying, needn’t be a death sentence for farm profitability,
according to American veterinarian Dr Paul Dettloff, visiting here in early March.
Official response to the M. bovis crisis has focused on containment and keeping the contagious bacterial disease from
spreading between animals. This infection is widespread in other dairying countries and needn’t reduce dairy
profitability here. Dr Dettloff, who works for a large dairy cooperative in the US, indicates he sees farmers who don’t
have M. bovis in their cows, despite being surrounded by farms with infected animals.
M. bovis is a lurking bacteria. It can be in the body but not active until the animal is under stress. Dr Dettloff, who
coaches US dairy owners on how to farm to avoid animal diseases, including M. bovis, emphasises the importance of
optimal nutrition for production animals. “We really have to be looking at the quality and consistency of the feed we
give to calves and cows.” He tends to see M. bovis on farms with overly acidic rumens, associated with feeding higher
amounts of grain to cows. Dettloff is a keen proponent of farmers accepting that their farm is an ecosystem and best
managed by understanding that everything is connected. “Small changes can create big consequences, both good and bad.”
Dr Dettloff will be talking about these issues on both islands during his visit the first fortnight in March. For more
information contact: Phyllis Tichinin ODPG 027 465 1906. Also: https://organicpastoral.co.nz/events/