Use of antibiotics for dry cows prevents Irish colostrum from entering Germany
A Limerick company, which ships colostrum to Germany, said the export will not continue for the 2023 season due to Ireland’s heavy use of dry cow antibiotic therapy.
aul Dillon of CalfPens.ie, along with his brother-in-law Pat O’Boyle, had paved the way for colostrum to enter the new market through their new company, Biocolo, which ran in the spring of 2022.
Mr Dillon confirmed to Farming Independent that colostrum from cows, even if the colostrum tests are clear for antibiotics, cannot be exported if the cow has been treated with antibiotic therapy for dry cows.
“Some of the farms that offered to stock this year still had very high dry cow antibiotic usage, while others were as low as 5pc,” Dillon said.
“ISR, the company we sell to, would not have dealt with this issue before, with only 4% of cows in Germany receiving dry cow antibiotic treatment.”
He said ISR is aware of efforts in Ireland to reduce antibiotic treatment of dry cows and hopes colostrum exports can resume in 2024.
“ISR also wants to increase its sales of animal health products in Ireland and offer its diarrhea treatment and prevention products on www.calfpens.ie.”
The demand for supplying colostrum had been so great that Biocolo had over 60 suppliers by the end of the first season.
Suppliers received between €1.50/L and €2/L, depending on its quality. This quality is established on farms using a refractometer.
Colostrum over 25g/100ml demanded the highest price, while colostrum supplied between 20 and 25g/100ml received over €1.50/L. The average price paid by Biocolo in 2022 was €1.75/L.
The processor, ISR, based in Lohne, northwest Germany, uses colostrum in animal feed, sports drinks and beauty products.
ISR has decided to leave its freezers in Ireland while it continues its consultation with the Department of Agriculture on the matter.
Last year, ISR chief operating officer Martin Hapke told the Farming Independent that the quality of Irish raw material was very high. “Currently, we cannot produce our products fast enough to meet demand.
“Between 60 and 70 percent of our colostrum intake goes to the animal feed market, and the rest to sports nutrition and beauty care,” he said.
“The value of our products varies from 40 to 200 €/kg depending on the quantity and quality of the colostrum.
“I am hopeful that the number of Irish farmers who choose to supply us with colostrum will increase. We currently have over 2,000 agricultural suppliers across Europe.