On May 4 through 6, 2016, MSD Animal Health (known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada) hosted the 9th annual European Mastitis Panel (EMP) meeting in Azores, Portugal, bringing together EMP members, who are established experts in the field, and veterinarians to discuss udder health and milk quality in dairy cattle– topics that remain important to the industry, despite the challenges of decreasing milk prices throughout Europe.

The objectives of the EMP meetings are to improve mastitis knowledge between local experts in EU countries. Each year, a different European country hosts the meeting and discussions involve udder health and industry challenges, with the opportunity for the hosting country to showcase their dairy industry and local research.

At this year’s meeting, research presentations focused on the host country, Portugal, and dairy topics covered included milk quality, antimicrobial resistance and intramammary infections. A highlight of the meeting was the opportunity to visit local dairy farms to understand traditional milking methods of the Azores region, including the impact cattle’s diet and living conditions have on the quality of milk produced.

At the previous meeting in Spain, the EMP group has decided to embark on collaborating more in research which has already resulted in a recent publication about antibiotic sensitivity of Mycoplasma bovis in Journal of Dairy Science (99:1–7):  “In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of Mycoplasma bovis isolates identified in milk from dairy cattle in Belgium, Germany, and Italy”.

This year, the EMP decided to collaborate on an EU project to find relationships between clinical, genetic and epidemiological characteristics of bacterial strains of Staphylococcus aureus in the different countries.

Veterinarians and EMP members continue to focus on finding solutions to the challenges they face in the dairy cattle industry with mastitis and milk quality. The EMP tries to represent as many EU countries as possible in order to improve quality of discussion and has recently welcomed Hungary and Poland, the latter country hosting next year’s meeting, as new members.

About MSD Animal Health

For 125 years, MSD has been a global health care leader working to help the world be well. MSD Animal Health, known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of MSD. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.msd-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.