This peer-reviewed article by Dr. Maria Groot and Dr. Katrien van’t Hooft was published by Frontiers in Public Health (February 2016, volume 4, article 12). The article discusses the differences and similarities in dairy farming in the Netherlands, India, Ethiopia, and Uganda and its effect on public and environmental health. Main conclusion of the article: “The focus on crossbreeding and increasing the productivity of dairy cattle has, besides enhanced milk production, also lead to increased use of agro-chemicals, importantly antibiotics and anti-parasite drugs.
Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and dairy farming
Another conclusions in the article: The residues of these agro-chemicals, if not managed properly, leak into the environment, affecting natural processes, biodiversity and soil life. Public health can be affected due to residues in milk and meat.” (see figure Using Antibiotics creates Anti-Microbial Resistance)
The article also presents the Natural Livestock Farming five-layered strategy to reduce the use of antibiotics and other chemicals in dairy farming – a strategy developed during the E-Motive exchange program in 2014-2015. This approach is based on 5 elements: (1) improving animal and farm management; (2) revitalizing ethnoveterinary knowledge and the use of medicinal plants; (3) genetic improvement through strategic use of local breeds; (4) establishing quality control systems in the dairy chain; and (5) extra payment to farmers for high quality residue-free milk. (see figure: Natural Livestock Farming 5-layered strategy)