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Ir Vet J. 2009 Apr 1;62 Suppl 4:S21-25. doi: 10.1186/2046-0481-62-S4-S21.

HACCP-based quality risk management approach to udder health problems on dairy farms.

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VACQA-International, LMV, Lugar de Atalaia, 2005-110 Almoster, Santarém, Portugal.


Against the background of prevailing udder health problems on dairy farms, this paper discusses a new approach to mastitis control. Current udder health control programmes, such as the 'five-point plan', are highlighted and their drawbacks indicated. The concept and principles of hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP) are introduced. The eight core elements of this concept are dealt with by using the example of a dairy herd with a mastitis problem due to Staphylococcus aureus. The various steps to be taken in the development of a HACCP-based quality risk management programme are illustrated through the application of core elements. Finally, it is shown that the HACCP key words, structure, organisation, planning, communication and formalisation; which do not frequently appear in conventional herd health and production management programmes can contribute to better udder health. The role of the veterinarian can be paramount and of added value, if he/she is willing to invest in new knowledge and skills, such as the HACCP concept, farm economics, animal nutrition, and particularly the role of coach to the dairy farmer in the implementation of preventative measures in relation to udder health.

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