Smart approach to teat dipping

The control of mastitis in dairy cattle is a multi-factorial process, with post-milking teat disinfection a well established, internationally recognised and effective cornerstone of mastitis prevention programmes. Farmers should be encouraged to use post milking teat disinfection and not see it as ‘just another job to do’ studies have shown it to be effective if applied properly.

Bacteria in milk from infected quarters may contaminate the skin of many other teats during milking. For example, after a liner has milked an infected quarter, bacteria may be transferred to the next 5-6 cows milked with that cup.

After milking, bacteria multiply on the teat skin and may extend into the teat canal. If the whole surface of each teat is disinfected immediately after milking, this spread can be minimised. Teat disinfection also helps to keep teat skin supple and healthy.

Failure to cover the whole teat of every cow at every milking and poorly diluted teat sprays are the most common errors in teat disinfection.

Registered products Teat sanitisers are designated as a veterinary medicine under the DCGI Act 1945. The product registration process provides an assurance of efficacy and safety with respect to human and animal health, environmental impact and likely impact on trade relating to the use of the product.

Unregistered products or off-label use Farmers using unregistered products risk applying ineffective treatments, having chemical residues in milk or meat, and causing harm to the environment, human health or animal health.

Spray or dip the whole surface of all teats after every milking throughout lactation.

Ensure the whole teat surface is covered with disinfectant. All the teat surface touched by the teat cup liner must be covered. A drop of teat disinfectant seen at the end of the teat does not indicate adequate coverage. Spray upwards from beneath teats, not from the side. Do not spray cows as they walk past.

Dipping is more reliable than spraying for getting complete coverage. Dip cups can be obtained from your teat disinfectant supplier.