VACQA International Efficiency

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VACQA International Efficiency

  1. 1. INSTITUTO POLITÉCNICO DE SANTARÉM ESCOLA SUPERIOR AGRÁRIA DE SANTARÉM ANIMAL PRODUCTION ENGINEERING LICENTIATE DEGREE COURSE VACQA INTERNATIONAL WEBSITE David Nuno Palma Quintino SANTARÉM 2008 1
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  3. 3. INSTITUTO POLITÉCNICO DE SANTARÉM ESCOLA SUPERIOR AGRÁRIA DE SANTARÉM ANIMAL PRODUCTION ENGINEERING LICENTIATE DEGREE COURSE VACQA INTERNATIONAL WEBSITE This study was fulfilled in spite of the Project curriculary unit. Name: David Nuno Palma Quintino Nr. 061182439 SANTARÉM 2008 3
  4. 4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS It is with great pleasure that I express my gratitude: to University Professor João Cannas da Silva, for the magnanimous availability for the development of this essay and for the opportunity given for the fulfillment of this training post; to Professor António Luiz Gomes, for the remarkable preparation and availability to enhance this essay; to Professor Maria Elisabete Palma, for the generous support to structure this essay; to Professor Maria Virginia Crespo and to the Work Placement Comission of ESAS, for the evident preoccupation and for the approval of this traineeship; to the whole ESAS teaching staff, for all my superior instruction; to the whole “Charrua family” for all the brotherhood and for my integration in this school; to my family, once without them the fulfillment of my course and this study would not be possible; and in special to my lady, Ana Lisboa, for all the love and support she gave me! 4
  5. 5. ABREVIATIONS / SYMBOLS BSE Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ESAS Escola Superior Agrária de Santarém (Santarém Superior School of Agriculture) HACCP Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points CCP Critical Control Point POPA Point Of Particular Attention SWOT Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats VACQA Veterinary Advice and Coaching in Quality Assurance VTEC Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli 5
  6. 6. ABSTRACT The implementation of a HACCP-like quality risk management program in dairy farms, will improve the quality and quantity of production. To ease this implementation, VACQA – International organization offers its clients SWOT analysis for many zootechnic matters. These SWOT analyses are used to detect strengths and weaknesses on these matters and this way it offers information for what should be changed in the farm, making it easier for the farm owners and their technicians. Part of this training post consisted in making these SWOT analyses on eight dairy farms. To fill out the field sheets, it was necessary: to perform an inspection of the animals, the infrastructures, the feed and the handling; to check records and laboratorial analysis of the feed, the water, the milk and the animals blood (if existent); and to inquire the farm manager about the handling. For this essay the ESAS dairy farm in Portugal, in the Ribatejo e Oeste region, was selected to demonstrate the efficiency of the VACQA – International SWOT analysis to detect strong points and weak points and establish priorities in the farm management. The results in the end demonstrated to be very efficient, quickly detecting the aspects to improve. Keywords: dairy cattle farm, cattle, haccp, management, risk, swot 6
  7. 7. CONTENTS 1 - INTRODUCTION & GOALS ........................................................................ 8 2 - BILIOGRAPHICAL REVISION................................................................... 10 3 - MATERIAL AND METHODS ..................................................................... 12 3.1 - Analyzed farm location ........................................................................ 12 3.2 - VACQA – International Website .......................................................... 12 3.2.1 - Claw Health SWOT assessment ................................................... 13 3.2.2 - Udder Health SWOT assessment ................................................. 13 3.2.3 - Milk Production & Nutrition SWOT assessment ............................ 13 3.2.4 - Fertility SWOT assessment ........................................................... 13 3.2.5 - Calves SWOT assessment ........................................................... 14 3.2.6 - Bovine Welfare & Cow Comfort SWOT assessment ..................... 14 3.2.7 - Public Health & Food Safety ......................................................... 14 3.3 - Field Sheets......................................................................................... 15 3.4 - Data Introduction ................................................................................. 16 4 - RESULTS .................................................................................................. 17 5 - DISCUSSION ............................................................................................ 18 6 - FINAL CONSIDERATIONS ....................................................................... 18 7 - BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES ......................................................... 19 7
  8. 8. 1 - INTRODUCTION & GOALS Animal production has long been seen by a major part of the population as a basic area, with out much knowledge involved and with a complicated future. But, with the continuous advancement of science and market demand, it is each day less alike. There is continuously more knowledge about animals, techniques and detail for a greater and better production and the implementation of a HACCP- based quality risk management program will organize all this knowledge, avoiding these risks (instead of correcting them), and will maximize production and, consequentially, the farm profit. The HACCP model is based in seven principles: 1. prepare a list of steps in the production process at which targeted hazards occur; 2. identify the critical control points, CCP, and the points of particular attention, POPA, in the production process required to reduce or eliminate the hazard; 3. establish critical limits for triggering the implementation of corrective/preventive measures associated with each CCP and POPA identified; 4. establish monitoring requirements for CCP and POPA. Use the results of the monitoring program to ajust the procedures and maintain control of the production process and for herd performance assessment; 5. determine corrective measures, to take when monitoring indicates that a value falls outside established critical limits or beyond a given target; 8
  9. 9. 6. establish effective record-keeping procedures that document that the HACCP program has been implemented and is operational; 7. establish procedures to verify that the HACCP program is working correctly. (NOORDHUIZEN, 2006) To satisfy the first four principles the VACQA International organization created many SWOT analyses for dairy farms. The ideology of SWOT analysis has been used for more than two thousand years: “Concentrate on the strong points, recognize your weaknesses, grab the opportunities and protect yourself from the threats” (SUN TZU, 500 b.C.; quoted by TARAPANOFF, 2001). VACQA International is an organization based in different countries in Europe, which aims at veterinary advice and coaching in quality assurance on dairy farms. For this study the ESAS (Santarém Superior School of Agriculture) dairy farm, in the Ribatejo e Oeste region in Portugal, was selected to demonstrate the efficacy of the VACQA International SWOT analysis’ on detecting strong points and weak points to establish priorities in the farm management. Prevention of Healthy Quality Risks Better Quality Animals (HACCP) MORE PROFIT More Milk Image 1: Logical result diagram of HACCP-like program implementation on dairy farms 9
  10. 10. 2 - BILIOGRAPHICAL REVISION In the last decades dairy farming has been more and more intensified. (BRAND et al., 1996; BAUMGARNER, 2002; quoted by CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2006 a). Consequentially there is need of more man-power, more feed, more equipment and material (BONNIER et al., 2004), so, dairy farm profits have been falling. For this reason it is necessary to have, instead of an individual approach (diagnosing and treating animals individually), an approach at farm level (BRAND et al., 1996; BAUMGARNER, 2002; quoted by CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2006 a), since a sick animal can be an indicator of a problem at that same level. There must be a continuous and regular animal or group performance monitoring, in order to detect (imminent) pathological problems and/or production problems in an initial stage and, considering the farm conditions, detect possible animal environment risk factors that may contribute to the disease occurrence. In this monitorization many zootechnical aspects should be considered, like nutrition, climatization, housing, equipment, milking and milking machine, hygiene and disinfection. Also part of this monitorization is the verification of available information: production records, milk quality data, laboratorial records, disease records and fertility records (CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2006 a). Inevitably, this monitorization, apart of preventing farm level problems, will also insure the farm quality. Farm quality nowadays is of great importance, because in the last years the media have been ostensibly exposing food safety failures, like BSE, VTEC (LIEVAART et al., 2005), salmonelosis and listeriosis, particularly in developed countries (CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2008). 10
  11. 11. In order to fulfill the requirements of this new approach, based on record tracking and continuous monitoring (CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2006 a), it is recommended to implement a method based on the HACCP model, since it is considered to be a preventive and science-based systematic method, whose first priority is the safety of the products through risk identification and risk management in the production process, having a proactive, rather than reactive, approach avoiding the problems instead of fixing them (CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2008). One of the stages of the HACCP model is carrying out SWOT analysis (CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2006 a). The SWOT analysis consists in a tool for scenario (or environment) analysis that is used as a business management and strategic business planning, but due to its simplicity it can be used for any kind of scenario analysis (TARAPANOFF, 2001). This way, we can use SWOT-assessments to effectively identify the farm strong points and weak points and from there, to set up a protocol to improve these weak points (CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2006 a). The VACQA International website, disposes of some SWOT-assessments developed for dairy cattle, namely related to claw health, udder health, milk production and nutrition, herd fertility, calves, bovine welfare and cow comfort, and, public health and food safety. Based on the outcomes of the SWOT-assessment, priorities for action on the shorter and the longer term can be identified, and corrective and preventive measures developed. These SWOT-assessment sheets can also be used to detect trends, for example after advice has been given, in order to determine whether progress has been made over time (CANNAS DA SILVA et al., 2006 b). 11
  12. 12. 3 - MATERIAL AND METHODS 3.1 - Analyzed farm location In this traineeship, quality risk assessments were carried out at eight dairy farms in the Ribatejo e Oeste region in Portugal. This region assumes a distinguished part in the Portuguese agriculture panorama for its production systems diversity, for the quantity and quality of its agro-products, for its dynamic farmers and simultaneously for its profits and for the level of competition between them (TRINDADE, 2006, quoted by PARDAL, 2006). The selected dairy farm for this essay was the RZ9A4 farm from ESAS (39°14'56'' N; 8°41'51'' W). 3.2 - VACQA – International Website The VACQA International SWOT assessments (available online at www.vacqa- international.com in six languages), developed by J. P. T. M. Noordhuizen, J. Cannas da Silva, J. S. C. Boersema e A. Vieira, were used to detect strong points and weak points in dairy farms. VACQA International supplies it is customers with SWOT assessments for the following domains: Claw Health, Udder Health, Milk Production and Nutrition, Fertility, Calves, Bovine Welfare and Cow Comfort, and Public Health and Food Safety. These assessments involve three tasks: animal, housing, feed and handling inspection; record, feed, water, milk and blood laboratory results check up; and an inquiry to the farmer/person in charge of the handling. 12
  13. 13. Each one of the SWOT assessments is detailed and divided in many fields, according to the nature of each analysis. 3.2.1 - Claw Health SWOT assessment This SWOT assessment is found divided in: general information; clinical monitoring; claw lesion diagnosis, housing, climate, feed and feeding; management; and other health issues. 3.2.2 - Udder Health SWOT assessment This SWOT assessment is found divided in: general information; clinical monitoring; hygiene at & around milking; milking equipment; milking procedures; housing; climate (barn & milking parlor); mastitis management; veterinary udder health control; and other management issues. 3.2.3 - Milk Production & Nutrition SWOT assessment This SWOT assessment is found divided in: general information; milk production data; nutrition general items; nutrition feed quality assessment; nutrition ration evaluation & formulation; grassland exploitation & grazing; clinical inspection; health & reproduction inspection; and other additional observations. 3.2.4 - Fertility SWOT assessment This SWOT assessment is found divided in: general information; farm management; fertility records; herd level fertility problems; fertility problems related to herd and farm factors; fertility problems related to animal factors; 13
  14. 14. artificial insemination/natural breeding; veterinary clinical inspection; and herd specific problems related to calving season. 3.2.5 - Calves SWOT assessment This SWOT assessment is found divided in: general information; housing; climate; general hygiene & feeding management; general feeding procedures young calves; health prevalence/incidence; growth/feeding; colostrums management; milk replacer feeding or automatic feeding systems; heifer comfort management; insemination management; and birth history & calving management. 3.2.6 - Bovine Welfare & Cow Comfort SWOT assessment This SWOT assessment is found divided in: general information; health & health management; behavioral aspects; housing, equipment & climate; feed & feeding management; and management issues. 3.2.7 - Public Health & Food Safety This SWOT assessment is found divided in: general information; sampling for disease detection; biosecurity including general hygiene issues; udder health, milking & milking hygiene; milk quality; and management. 14
  15. 15. 3.3 - Field Sheets To make data introduction on the website easier, there are field sheets in English available for the Claw Health, Udder Health, Milk Production & Nutrition, Fertility and Calves SWOT assessments. The reformulation (according to the three tasks named in 3.2) and the translation of these field sheets, and also the creation of the Bovine Welfare & Cow Comfort, and Public Health and Food Safety SWOT assessment field sheets was also part of this traineeship. Image 2: First page of the Bovine Welfare & Cow Comfort SWOT analysis field sheets. 15
  16. 16. 3.4 - Data Introduction After filling up the field sheets, the collected data can then be introduced in the VACQA International website. In the website there is a scoring system from 1 (best) to 5 (worst), that is adapted to each of the parameters. If not sure about the data to insert, the user can place the mouse pointer over the scoring slot to open the parameter help window. Once inserted, the online software calculates the average score and presents graphically each of the assessment domains and a total score of the farm, and it also displays the CCP and POPA detected. Image 3: VACQA International website SWOT analysis data introduction page. 16
  17. 17. 4 - RESULTS The SWOT assessments carried on at the ESAS farm, before the translation and reformulation of the field sheets, took about seven hours to execute excluding the introduction of the data on the website. After some practice, the translation and the reformulation of the field sheets, these assessments took about three hours to execute, revealing a lot of efficiency. The introduction of the data on the VACQA International website took about ninety minutes, displaying immediately the detailed results of the assessments (Strong Points, Weak Points, CCP and POPA). Image 4: VACQA International SWOT analysis results page. 17
  18. 18. 5 - DISCUSSION The results demonstrated the efficiency of the VACQA International SWOT assessments, since that in little time they identified the farms strong points, weak points, PCC and POPA. 6 - FINAL CONSIDERATIONS It is important to notice that these assessments, to be well effectuated, require some practice (notion of other farms, for comparison) and zootechnic knowledge in many domains. Namely it is necessary to know how to evaluate body condition, rumen fill, faeces consistency, undigested faeces fraction, locomotion, bedding material quality, animal and infrastructure hygiene and knowledge about dairy cattle handling. The fertility SWOT assessment could not be finished dew to a lack of organization and coherence of the existent data on the farm computer. In a near future, new SWOT assessments will be made to the farm for relative scoring with other farms. 18
  19. 19. 7 - BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES BONNIER, P.; MAAS, A.; RIJKS, J. (2004) – Agrodok 14, Dairy Cattle Husbandry. Second Edition. Wageningen, The Netherlands: Agromisa Foundation. 84 pp. CANNAS DA SILVA, J.; NOORDHUIZEN, J.; VAGNEUR, M.; BEXIGA, R.; GELFERT, C.; BAUMGARTNER, W. (2006 a) – The Future of Veterinarians in Bovine Herd Health Management. Nice, France: Proceedings of World Buiatrics Congress XXIV. 12 pp. CANNAS DA SILVA, J.; NOORDHUIZEN, J.; GINGÃO, P.; BOERSEMA, S.; VIEIRA, A. (2006 b) – What is VACQA?. © VACQA International, available online at: www.vacqa-international.com. Accessed in March 15th of 2009. CANNAS DA SILVA, J.; NOORDHUIZEN, J. (2008) – Consumer Safety & HACCP-like Quality Risk Management programs on Dairy Farms: The role of veterinarians. The Open Veterinary Science Journal 2008, available online at: www.bentham.org/open/tovsj. Accessed in March 15th of 2009. LIEVAART, J.; NOORDHUIZEN, J.; BEEK, E.; BEEK, C.; RISP, A.; SCHENKEL, J.; VEERSEN, J. (2005) – The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point’s (HACCP) concept as applied to some chemical, physical and microbiological contaminants of milk on dairy farms. A prototype. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. Veterinary Quarterly 2005; 27(1); 21-29 p. NOORDHUIZEN, J.; CANNAS DA SILVA, J.; BOERSEMA, J. (2006) – The Handbook of HACCP-like applications on Dairy Farms. © VACQA International, available online at: www.vacqa-international.com. Accessed in March 15th of 2009. PARDAL, P. (2006) – A Agricultura no Ribatejo e Oeste. Santarém, Portugal: Escola Superior Agrária de Santarém, Unidade Curricular de Actividades Pecuárias. Not published. 10 pp. TARAPANOFF, K. (2001) – Inteligência Organizacional e Competitiva. Brasília, Brasil: Editora UNB. 19

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