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Towards understanding antibiotic use and producer performance under the Canadian Quality Milk Program

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Title: Towards understanding antibiotic use and producer performance under the Canadian Quality Milk Program
Author: Watters, Mary Ellen Alexandrea
Department: Department of Population Medicine
Program: Population Medicine
Advisor: Kelton, David F.
Abstract: Canadian dairy producers have taken a proactive approach to addressing food safety through the Canadian Quality Milk (CQM) program; now known as the Food Safety module of proAction. This thesis investigated the CQM program, antibiotic use, and CQM antibiotic record quality in Ontario. A survey was used to understand the experiences of CQM Advisors (n= 99) who administered a voluntary training program available to Ontario dairy producers prior to their first CQM audit. In general, Advisors reported a positive experience and felt training was beneficial to producers. The Ontario CQM database (n=4,001 herds) was analyzed to evaluate producer performance at first and second audit. Participation in the voluntary training program was high; 88.9% of Ontario dairy producers participated. Success at first validation visit was also high (79.6%). Training was associated with greater odds of producer success at first validation visit. There appeared to be a cohort effect based on audit year as well as variability due to auditor variation. This indicates a need for future research to understand these impacts. A cross-sectional approach was used to survey Ontario producers’ (n= 101) approaches towards antibiotic use and mastitis treatment for the milking herd. Dry cow therapy (DCT) was a common preventative approach (89%) with blanket DCT used by most producers (78%). Respondents were divided as to their level of concern about potential changes to antibiotic regulations. A convenience sample of 2014 CQM antibiotic treatment records (n= 71 herds) was evaluated; all herds had been CQM validated. Treatment of mastitis followed by DCT were the most common reasons for antibiotic administrations in adult dairy cows. Record quality was highly variable by herd. The evidence of missing and inaccurate information in the records indicates a need for either greater scrutiny of records during CQM audits or for more frequent evaluation of records for CQM compliance. To conclude, the DFO voluntary producer training program was well received and effective. Producer compliance with requirements for antibiotic treatment records outside of CQM audits was highly variable by herd. Issues with missing information and recording inaccuracies signify that more producer outreach and education is merited.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16101
Date: 2019
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International