Dairy cattle Salmonella study  

Salmonella is endemic in dairy cattle in New Zealand, and can cause large outbreaks of scouring and mortality. The effects of Salmonella on-farm can be devastating and pose a serious risk to the health, productivity and welfare of affected animals. Salmonella is also a common cause of gastro-intestinal disease in humans, with livestock acting as a reservoir for infection.

Update on Salmonella in New Zealand

There has been an increase in diagnoses of salmonellosis on dairy farms in recent years in New Zealand.

Ongoing national surveillance of veterinary laboratory diagnoses in the past five years shows the emergence and rapid spread of Salmonella serotype Bovismorbificans in the cattle population, throughout the country and more recently Salmonella Give. Public health surveillance during the same
period shows a mirroring trend in the number of diagnosed human cases of Salmonella bovismorbificans.

Figure.1: Laboratory confirmed Salmonella cases in cattle (2010-2021) (source: MPI)

Who are we and what do we do?

The EpiCentre (Massey University), in collaboration with dairy industry stakeholders,  has been conducting a survey and a case-control study since 2021, and ongoing into the 22-23 dairy season, to identify risk factors for Salmonellosis outbreaks in dairy.

Information from this study will help manage the risk of salmonellosis outbreaks, thus improving on-farm production and protecting animal welfare. It will also improve the health and wellbeing of farmers and their families, and public health.

Dairy veterinarians how can you help?

This study relies on awareness and the willingness of dairy veterinarians to participate. If a positive diagnosis of salmonellosis in cattle is made from samples you submitted to your local Gribbles Veterinary laboratory, you will receive some communication from us on behalf of this study. It will look like this

You can help out with the study, by sending the respective farmer a copy of the linked “farmer” document, as well as a link to the study web-page so they can complete a short survey.

Study webpage link: www.massey.ac.nz/salmonella

You can also:

Visit the salmonella study webpage at www.massey.ac.nz/salmonella and download a farmers flyer from the “Salmonella Study Resources” section, to include in your practice newsletter and raise awareness among farmers.

If you suspect a salmonella outbreak on a dairy farm this milking season, please send samples to your local Gribbles Veterinary laboratory for confirmation.

Together we can reduce the impact of salmonellosis on dairy farms.