What is the Virbac Dairy Symposium (VDS) in a few words?
Between October 1st and 3rd, Virbac invited more than 230 professionals to Juan-les-Pins. Those attending this symposium dealing solely with the dairy sector, were primarily veterinary practitioners from every continent. The programme included three half-day scientific sessions whose theme was the 150 critical days for dairy cows, led by eleven speakers who were either veterinary experts or specialist researchers in the field.
Why this particular theme?
Observation of the management of dairy cows shows that the number of potential risk events can mount up in the 150 days between drying off and the next pregnancy and that cows undergo many physiological changes during this period. It’s essential, therefore, that we fully understand this period through a global approach rather than treat specific illnesses. In Virbac we call this "Target 150".
Is the dairy sector a key market for Virbac?
Yes! We have a presence in this sector in over forty countries. In particular we are the market leader in India, the world's leading milk producer, and are in 4th place in the French market. Nearly 30% of the company's sales comes from ruminants, half of which is from the dairy sector. This symposium therefore fits perfectly into Virbac's development strategy.
R&D and industrial investment and, over recent years, acquisitions at a global level have demonstrated Virbac's commitment to the ruminant market and to the dairy sector in particular. With this symposium we hoped to go even further in working with our clients, by providing veterinary practitioners and farmers not only with high quality medication but with the tools, training and services they use on a daily basis. This will allow them to achieve better herd health management and optimize dairy production.
Was it well received by those involved?
Very much so! In particular they appreciated the high technical standard of the presentations and the good balance between the scientific data that was presented and its practical application, not to mention the many opportunities that arose for exchanging ideas with the Virbac teams and with their counterparts in other countries.
Vincent S., veterinary practitioner, New Zealand:
“Our industry is undergoing a transformation. The extensive New Zealand system and the intensive European approach are moving together, towards a centre ground which is new to everyone. The pharmaceutical companies can help everyone through this change through opinion leaders.”
Manuel O., veterinary practitioner , Mexico:
“VDS allowed us to feed off the experience gained in other countries in the world and to compare their management and production systems with ours. I was also very struck by the limits imposed on veterinary practitioners in relation to antibiotics, especially in Europe.”
B.G. H., veterinary practitioner, India:
“The lessons learned about managing metabolic health during the transition phase, ailments such as dystocia associated with calving or the management of clinical mastitis will be immensely useful when advising farmers.”