Reducing lame cows - The New Cornish Way
"Research and development (R&D), projects encompass a wide variety of activities and objectives. The UK governments' definition states that in order to comply for R&D status, there has to be uncertainty around whether the project aims are achievable in practice, and that the work can demonstrate efficacy from an approach not previously attempted. In conducting this R&D work, we have been able to generate, on a small number of farms, with a small number of cows, an appreciable improvement to the existing practices used to control digital dermatitis. The potential that can be realised from further work with larger samples and proper controls could result in significant advances in the way the dairy industry reduces the burden of digital dermatitis as a disease and as a detrimental cost in an environmentally friendly way.
This project exceeded its planned timescale, cost far more money than budgeted, involved fantastic people cooperating at farm level and was facilitated by a determined and capable scientist. In answering the question, how do we get a consistent amount of our bacteria reliably onto cows feet? There were many problems to overcome, which resulted in a stepping stone approach to new technology. Most of those technologies used in the project are now redundant, along with the data collected, but what we are left with is an 'acorn' of efficacy that we are determined to nurture.
This project could not have commenced without the help and finance available from Agritech Cornwall ERDF fund, and it definitely wouldn't have happened without our current customers continuing trade. I would like to thank all involved at Agritech Cornwall, the farmers and farm staff that collaborated with us, the staff at Pruex and our engineering partners and for the work, dedication and determination of Sarah Dusgate in running the project."
Aled Rhys Davies, Managing Director, Pruex:.