• Detection of abnormal recordings in Irish milk recorded data

      Quinn, N.; Killen, L.; Guinee, Timothy P.; Buckley, Frank (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2007)
      The objective of this study was to detect abnormal recordings of milk yield, fat concentration and protein concentration in Irish milk-recorded data. The data consisted of 14,956 records from both commercial and experimental herds with 92% of the recordings recorded manually and the remainder recorded electronically. The method used in this paper was a modified version of the method employed by the Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory in Maryland, USA and conformed with the guidelines outlined by the International Committee of Animal Recording. The results illustrate the effectiveness of detecting abnormal recordings in Irish milk records. The method described in this paper, defines the upper and lower limits for each production trait and these limits along with the slope parameters were used to determine if a recording was abnormal or not. Three percent of milk yield recordings, 5% of fat concentration recordings and less than 1% of protein concentration recordings were found to be abnormal. The proportion of values declared abnormal in manually recorded and electronically recorded data were examined and found to be significantly different for fat concentration.
    • Determining the Prevalence and Seasonality of Fasciola hepatica in Pasture-based Dairy herds in Ireland using a Bulk Tank Milk ELISA

      Bloemhoff, Yris; Forbes, Andrew; Danaher, Martin; Good, Barbara; Morgan, Eric; Mulcahy, Grace; Sekiya, Mary; Sayers, Riona; Irish Dairy Levy Research Trust; Merial (Biomed Central, 09/07/2015)
      Background Fasciola hepatica is a helminth parasite of global importance in livestock, with major economic impact. However information on F. hepatica infections in Irish pasture-based dairy herds is limited. Therefore this study was conducted in order to determine the prevalence, seasonality and management factors associated with F. hepatica. A total of 319 Irish dairy herds were selected for this study. Bulk tank milk (BTM) samples were collected from 290 dairy farms on a quarter year basis, while from a further 29 dairy farms BTM samples were collected on a monthly basis to provide a more detailed pattern of F. hepatica exposure in Irish herds. BTM samples were analysed using a commercially available F. hepatica antibody detection ELISA. Furthermore, within-herd prevalence of F. hepatica was assessed in a subset of these 29 herds (n = 17); both individual serum samples and bulk tank milk samples were collected. Results A within-herd prevalence of ≤ 50 % was found for herds with negative bulk tank milk samples. The mean prevalence of the 290 study herds was 75.4 % (Range 52 %–75.1 %), with the highest prevalence being observed in November (75.1 %). The seasonal pattern of F. hepatica shows elevated antibodies as the grazing season progressed, reaching a peak in January. A significant association was found between F. hepatica and age at first calving. Conclusion This study demonstrates that F. hepatica is present in a large proportion of Irish dairy herds and provides a basis on which control practices, particularly in adult dairy cows, can be reviewed.