Belgium: survey on farmers using antibiotics

In the Belgian region of Flanders, the most important dairy region, a survey by the Flemish milk control station MCC Vlaanderen shows that 44 percent of dairy farmers who cows dry off selectively sometimes use antibiotics and four percent never use antibiotics. Of the respondents who dry off selectively, 88 percent do so because they think it is important to use less antibiotics, 56 percent because of the financial benefit, 13 percent because preventive use is prohibited and 9 percent because their vet advises it. Of the respondents, 81.2 percent indicated that udder health has remained the same as with dry off with antibiotics, 12.5 percent indicated that udder health has improved and 3.1 percent said it has become worse. The farms of the survey had 24 to 350 cows with an average tank somatic cell count of 163000 cells per millilitre, varying between 60000 to 290000.

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