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The farmer 4.0 reaches León: dairy cattle monitoring

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“León is a reference for the veterinarian, due to its historical faculty, but also for beef cattle, with farms relevant to the sector”, this is how Ángel Revilla, director of the Ruminant Business Unit at MSD Animal Health in the Spain, assessment of the state of the province in relation to the bovine sector.

Revilla, during these days, attends the Congress given by the Spanish National Association of Specialists in Bovine Medicine (ANEMBE(c) which was held in León and brought together a thousand farmers and veterinarians.

Currently, the world of bovine medicine is undergoing a real revolution both in terms of regulation and technological advancement through cattle monitoring, as Revilla explained.

-What are the main challenges facing the veterinary sector at the moment?

We are currently subject to some very important legislative changes. Recently, the latest Royal Decree determines that a farm manager is a key element in guaranteeing the future of farms, production control and public health. It is a crucial time for them.

We are also awaiting the Royal Decree on Veterinary Prescriptions, which will be crucial in the development of European legislation and will also be crucial for the future. We are actually giving legal form to processes in which we have been working for a long time, but in fact, veterinarians have been working for a long time on the issue of prescription to guarantee minimum antibiotic use.

-We are in a moment of change and reshaping

We are in the presence of continuous change. The cow’s milk sector has been undergoing a profound reshaping over the past thirty years. It has taken drastic progress since we went from a medium or intermediate operating position compared to other countries and currently we are number one. This was done thanks to the efforts of the farmers, thanks to the work of the veterinarians and thanks to the training proposed by ANEMBE for the veterinarians.

-Talk about antibiotic use; It is one of the requests of society, that there would be a rational use of antibiotic hormones, how does MSD work on this issue?

-Essentially we work on prevention, that is, establishing management guidelines and vaccination health programs aimed at prevention because we are able to prevent it. We are going to minimize the use of antibiotics and that is the basic objective, which we have already worked on for the last eight or ten years of MSD, pushing all our interest in improving management conditions and using vaccination plans that manage prevention. diseases to minimize antibiotic use.

“We can make a diagnosis, very early, when an animal starts to get sick to guarantee treatment as soon as possible”

Angel Revilla

Director of the Ruminant Business Unit at MSD Animal Health in Spain

-Would that be a bit of the ONE HEALTH philosophy?

-The motto of veterinary medicine is Hygia pecoris Salus Populi» (health of animals, health of people). The concept of ANY HEALTH It goes the same way, that is, to try to guarantee health in a fair and complete way, to prevent all diseases in animals so that they do not transfer to humans and with the rational use of antibiotics to avoid resistance. ONE HEALTH expands this horizon, also connecting with the Environment, making a trinomial there that guarantees the viability of animal production, which is essential for the production of protein for human consumption.

What is the role of technology and digitization in this whole process?

– Digitization and technology provide us with basic tools, first for decision-making and second for self-prevention. In other words, we can now diagnose very early when an animal starts to get sick to guarantee treatment as soon as possible, which will reduce the use of antibiotics, improve animal welfare and guarantee the animal’s recovery in a much more efficient way. But in addition, technology allows us to make predictions, that is, knowing what is going to happen based on historical data, which again gives us brutal progress when it comes to preventing diseases.

All of this means that if we are able to have fewer sick animals, fewer animals with problems, as well as using less antibiotics, what we are going to avoid is having fewer animals able to feed the population, with which we are going. to respect the environment because we are going to generate a lower carbon footprint.

-And about monitoring, how does MSD work?

-Monitoring is a fundamental issue because in the end it is 24/7 control, that is, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you know the health status of the animals and MSD has the highest system in the world, he. it is ScienceHub and it allows an exercise that controls with nine continuously measured parameters and an algorithm that predicts exactly what is going to happen. This gives us full guarantees and brutal support for both the vet and the farmer and to guarantee animal health and welfare.

“Digitization requires investment but the benefit is quickly reaped”

Angel Revilla

Director of the Ruminant Business Unit at MSD Animal Health in Spain

-We are in León, how important is the province within livestock and also in veterinary medicine?

-León has one of the four historical faculties of Spain. It is undoubtedly a point of reference for veterinary and secondly in terms of milk production, it is one of the important provinces in Castilla y León and in Spain the tradition of livestock is always very important but in dairy cattle it continues be. a province where there are some really relevant farms in the sector

-Are the farms prepared for this digitization or should the administration invest?

-The evolution of the Spanish dairy sector has been done at the expense of the farmer and the efforts of the veterinarian. The administration has done little about it. Digitization requires investment, but the elements we provide to farmers and vets have such a quick return on investment that it allows them to make that investment decision and then, on top of that, another one of the most important things for us it is that they are great. easily usable, that is, both the farmer and the veterinarian have direct, continuous access on mobile to everything that happens on their farm, which facilitates decision-making.

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