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Ontario Bovine Practitioners Update Meeting: Relevant News

This month the OABP held their annual update meetings virtually to provide Ontario Bovine Veterinarians with relevant research and industry information. Helpful bits of information that apply directly to our clients were regarding:

Lactanet (formerly DHI) Selective Dry Cow Therapy Report

This is a new report in the last year available to Lactanet customers. Selective Dry Cow Therapy is a popular topic among producers and it is also extensively lectured on in the veterinary community as well. But how do we get started? Somatic cell count is proven to be an extremely useful tool to help decide if A) your herd is suitable for selective dry cow therapy and B) which cows in your herd would be good candidates for selective dry cow therapy. The Lactanet SDCT report is an optional report of no extra cost - it sorts your cows using the evidence-based algorithm to provide you with a list of cows that could be candidates for drying off without antibiotics. You must request this report, as it isn’t automatically provided. All this being said, it is strongly recommended to undertake the venture into selective dry cow therapy with your herd veterinarian, as there is an extensive decision tree that goes into making these choices beyond SCC, including cow factors, herd dynamics, and dry cow housing, none of which are taken into consideration by this SCC based report.

Lactanet Robot Report

This is a new report launched in the last 2 months. With all the data available to farmers through their robots, it can be hard to justify continuing on with DHI testing. Lactanet is continuing to try and add value by catering a report specifically for their robot clients. The key feature with this report is the addition of benchmarking. It will provide values for your herd and also values for the top 20% of robot herds for several different measures including milkings per cow, milkings per robot, as well as robot refusals and failures. The benchmarking is based on Lactanet herds who opt into this report, so in order to make this truly reflective of robot herds in Ontario it is best if as many herds as possible opt into this report. Benchmarking is the selling point of this report, as well as providing a concise summary of relevant data. This is a free report but it is not automatically provided, so you must opt into it in order to allow Lactanet access to your robot data.

ProAction Traceability – Yellow tags

Yellow tags for animals destined for the beef industry are being phased out. They will continue to be accepted until September 2023. The numbers on these tags are not automatically accepted into the DairyTrace system, and need to be added under the “yellow tag” heading before assigning them to an animal. Single white dairy tags will be used going forward.

ProAction Environment Module

This module is still set to come into enforcement September 2021. Your DFO FSRs will be facilitating the training, instead of vets for this module. Please take note if you previously were a June, July, or August validation date and previously had almost a year before your validations with new requirements, because of the shift in months due to COVID you are now in the guinea pig group and have to be ready in for validations including the environment module this fall.

ProAction Cattle Health Declarations and Prescriptions

Due to the shift in months for validations because of COVID, it may happen that your Cattle Health Declaration and Vet Prescriptions get signed past the 12-month expiry that they have. Try to remember to have these signed on the 12 month rotation if possible, even though you won’t be due for a validation. We were hoping that validators would be forgiving of this but a few veterinarians have reported some complaints from FSRs, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!

DairyTrace Registration

Only ⅓ of dairy farmers have activated their DairyTrace account. While it is not required until September of this year, it is recommended to activate and get into the habit of reporting now, before things get busy with field work. You can access the portal online at or call 1-866-558-7223 to activate your account. Have your premise ID(s) handy. The mobile app is also available for your convenience.

DFO Dashboard - MMS

The pre-registration for the new DFO web dashboard is now live. This is the new system for allowing secondary access to your DFO info (replacing the old systems of secondary passwords). Now each veterinarian and other service providers will have their own login to view all the producers that have granted them access. We have been told that the list of vets is not complete, but you can always add a vet at the bottom in the “other” category if you can’t find them on the list. You can grant access to multiple vets as well. It is important that the pre-registration is at least complete before February 8th, and your vets and service providers can always be changed at a later date.

For our clients who don’t use the internet, but still want to grant our vets access to their DFO information, there have been authorization sheets sent in the mail. There has been some concern from clients with the speed of the mail these days, that these won’t be returned to DFO by the February 8th due date. DFO has said that this is fine, they will update your account as they receive the forms in the mail, even after February 8th.

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