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Cornell Dairy Research.combanner with cow

Of interest:

  • Kathryn Boor of Cornell published (JDS 84:1-11) the fact that in summer of 2000 thousands of Japanese consumers were sickened with Staph aureus contaminated milk.
  • R. Zadoks of Cornell stated (JDS 92:4988-4991) that Staph aureus is a major cause of mastitis in dairy cattle in a study discussing the rising concerns of MRSA in milk.
  • Larry Fox of Washington State University published (JDS 84:1976-1978) the fact that the university could not control Staph aureus in their herd with their conventional milking system stating “The Washington State University dairy herd experienced an outbreak of mastitis caused by a single strain of Staphylococcus aureus in the face of routine contagious mastitis control procedures” He further noted they resorted to chemically blinding the infected quarters.

Cornell study of CoPulsation™ Milking System

Evaluation of an Experimental Milking Pulsation System
for Effects on Milking and Udder Health

Cornell University states that a new CMS (CoPulsation™ Milking System) was used. This is false, the system was a used system purchased from a dairy farmer. It had several thousand prior use hours and was beyond the required maintenance interval which CU failed to perform. The system was improperly installed in a pipeline style facility as the product they purchased was designed specifically for a parlor style facility. This fact was later discussed with Dave Wilson, an author of the study, and Wilson stated that Cornell made "ingenious modifications" to the system to get it to work in the improperly installed configuration.

The initial cow distribution is claimed to be random yet the data in the study (table 2) shows that the initial distribution of cows was such that there were 15 cases of mastitis in the CMS group and only 9 in the conventional group. There were also 5 cases of Staph aureus in the CMS group and none (0) in the conventional group. The study also states 30 cows were selected from the university herd that were most likely to survive the one year duration of the study. The dairy industry widely accepts the fact that Staph aureus infected cows should be culled from a herd whenever practical and therefore those are not cows that would be expected to survive for another year.

The primary result of the study is the fact that the CMS virtually eliminates new cases of Staph aureus as noted in table 2 with a reduction of nearly 16 to 1 (.31/.02) which is noted by the researchers as "significantly different". It should be further noted that no other product on the market offers so significant of a reduction. The research was funded by Cornell University Alumni as noted in the acknowledgments section.