VET40150 Milk Quality & Mastitis

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module will provide an overview of the principles of prevention and control of mastitis at a herd level and milk quality. Module components will cover basic knowledge of mastitis, including aetiology, epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment. Also the factors that influence milk quality will be presented. Herd level strategies for; the monitoring and investigation of mastitis; on farm assessment of the various risk factors for mastitis (including, teat health, dry period management, milking routine and the milking machine); the principles of mastitis control and principles of disease economics in respect to mastitis control will be presented and discussed. All information will presented in the context of the Animal Health Ireland Mastitis and Milk Quality initiative.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On the completion of this module, students will be able to:
-Demonstrate a core clinical knowledge of bovine mastitis, the risk factors for mastitis and factors that influence milk quality
-Discuss and employ methods to control mastitis.
-Recognise common patterns of spread of mastitis, the mechanisms of spread of mastitis and the sources of infection
-Develop a herd monitoring plan for clinical and sub clinical mastitis
-Evaluate the costs of mastitis and perform a cost benefit analysis of interventions in a dairy herd
-Gather, manage and analyse SCC and clinical mastitis records to assess herd performance and identify patterns in time, space and among animal groups
-Formulate and execute an investigation, tailored to an individual farm, based on problem definition and patterns of disease identified from record analysis
-Formulate a cost effective mastitis control plan tailored to an individual farm
-Construct a farm visit report communicating findings from an investigation, interpretation of findings and recommendations for monitoring and control.

Indicative Module Content:

This module will focus on the key aspects of milk quality and mastitis relevant to the herd level. Milk quality in this context will refer to measures of milk hygiene and will not include issues relating to milk solids constituents or issues relating to residues. Mirroring the approach used in other modules, this module will build upon the generic approach to problem-solving delivered in the Herd Health Skills module. Students will adapt the Herd Health Management Cycle to develop an understanding of the monitoring, investigation and control of milk quality and mastitis on dairy farms.

This module will be divided into four core units plus assessments:
• Unit 1: Basic concepts in milk quality and mastitis (Week 1)
• Unit 2: Monitoring the herd (Week 2)
• Unit 3: Investigating Problems (Weeks 3-4)
• Unit 4: Controlling mastitis (Weeks 5-7)
The final week (Week 8) has been allocated for assessment purposes.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Field Trip/External Visits




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module utilises a range of approaches to learning including online lectures, directed reading material, peer discussion forums, farm investigation and reporting, face to face practical session regarding microbiological culture. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Multiple Choice Questionnaire: open book single best answer MCQ exam to be completed within the last week of the module Week 8 n/a Other No


Project: Generate a report of a mastitis investigation conducted by the student Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Other Yes


Continuous Assessment: Contribution to discussion forums opened by the module coordinator. Grades are based on posting a contribution and responding to an least one other post for each forum Throughout the Trimester n/a Other No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

If students fail a module assessment they will be individually contacted after the assessment with feedback regarding their performance and specific areas for improvement.

Name Role
Finola McCoy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Eoin Ryan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Paul Stanley Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr John Donlon Tutor
Mr Finnian Logan Tutor
Assoc Professor Conor McAloon Tutor
Miss Vicki Rhodes Tutor
Eilidh Thomson Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

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