Directions for national mastitis control programs: experiences from The Netherlands

T.J.G.M. Lam, J. Jansen, R.J.M. Gent, J.C.L. Veersen, J.M. Keurentjes, A.G. Werkman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review


The general aim of mastitis control programs is to improve udder health on dairy farms. Over the last five years an intensive national mastitis program was executed in the Netherlands with the goal to improve udder health at a national level. Different groups of farmers have different motivations and should be approached differently, and their behaviour is influenced by different advisors. Therefore, as many different groups of advisors as possible should be involved in the program. Most of the veterinary practices in the Netherlands participated as did, in later years, other farm advisors. We experienced that for a successful program it is crucial to have knowledge on motivating factors of dairy farmers. Many advisors are convinced that the only way to change farmers’ behavior is through economics. We found that economics are important, but that other factors are as important in influencing farmers’ behaviour. To have a successful national mastitis program it is advisable to involve professionals on communication in designing the program. Although the technical knowledge on which the program is built should be optimal, that generally is not the bottle-neck in being successful. There often is more to gain in presenting knowledge in such a way that it is actually used, than in increasing the amount of existing knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th IDF Mastitis Conference on Mastitis research into practice, Christchurch, New Zealand, 21-24 March 2010
EditorsJ.E. Hillerton
Place of PublicationChristchurch, New Zealand
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event5th IDF Mastitis Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand -
Duration: 21 Mar 201024 Mar 2010


Conference5th IDF Mastitis Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand


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