About Dairy Wellness

Salmonella risk is on the rise
Posted by Gary Neubauer

In dairy operations just like yours, Salmonella infections have increased dramatically in recent years1, and a new study2 shows it’s still on the rise. Salmonella is a distinct threat to the health of your cows and the profitability of your operation. Both clinical and subclinical Salmonella infections can have long-lasting negative effects on your herd. No dairy is exempt from the risk of Salmonella, and the chance of your dairy being exposed or already being affected is likely much higher than you realize.

A recent study of more than 400 dairies across the country found that 68% of all dairies tested positive for Salmonella2, a 36% increase from the last reported prevalence numbers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture completed in 2012.3

As part of the study, dairy operators were asked about several key risk factors for Salmonella on their operation. Of those operations that scored well on the risk assessment questions, more than 65% tested positive for Salmonella:

  • Haven’t had a Salmonella outbreak within the past five years — 65% tested positive
  • Operate as a closed dairy — 68% tested positive
  • Don’t borrow or lend equipment — 67% tested positive
  • Enforce biosecurity measures — 66% tested positive

Salmonella is sneaky and, even with the best biosecurity measures in place, it can still find a way onto your dairy. But there are steps you can take to help protect your herd:

  • Implement a biosecurity program. Enforce it with every person who enters your facility, including employees.
  • Clean and sanitize often. Place hand sanitation and boot sanitation stations or sanitary boot foot baths throughout the dairy and office areas.
  • Limit contamination and spread. Proper pest and bird control is important, especially in areas of feed storage, handling and feeders, as well as animal housing.
  • Quarantine and monitor. If you purchase cattle, quarantine them to help control disease, and help prevent shedding and introduction of Salmonella into the herd.
  • Vaccinate your herd for Salmonella Newport. Using a vaccine such as SRP® SALMONELLA can help develop whole-herd immunity.

Evaluate your dairy’s risk of a Salmonella outbreak at Take a short online assessment and receive a free personalized Salmonella reduction plan, then talk about the results with your veterinarian.

*This product license is conditional. Efficacy and potency test studies are in progress.

1 National Animal Health Monitoring System. Salmonella and Campylobacter on U.S. Dairy Operations, 1996–2007. APHIS Info Sheet, July 2009, #562.0709.

2 Data on file, Study Report No. 13ORFS-01, Zoetis Inc.

3 Lombard. JE., et al. "Comparison of Individual, Pooled, and Composite Fecal Sampling Methods for Detection of Salmonella on US Dairy Operations. Journal of Food Protection,75.9 (2012): 1562-1571.

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