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|Milk from cows treated with antibiotics can’t go into the bulk tank|
|El Lechero Dairy Basics - Herd Health|
|Written by Abby Huibregtse|
|Wednesday, 21 March 2012 14:03|
When cows get sick, many farms will treat them with antibiotics. A common infection in dairy cows is mastitis, which is an infection in the udder. Cows with mastitis are often given antibiotic treatments to help them overcome the infection.
Any time a cow is given antibiotics, her milk cannot be put into the bulk tank. This is because there are firm regulations in regards to drug residues in milk.
It is very rare, but there are some people who are allergic to antibiotics. If these people consume milk or foods with antibiotic residues in them, they could have a potentially dangerous allergic reaction.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set limits as to the amount of antibiotic residue that can be found in milk. This limit is very low, much less than it would take to cause an allergic reaction.
Every bulk tank of milk is sampled, and every truckload of milk is sampled and screened for antibiotic residues. Farms can face financial and criminal penalties if they ship milk containing antibiotic residues.
Milk from cows that are treated with antibiotics must be kept out of the bulk tank. This milk is usually dumped down the drain or only fed to calves, not people. Some farms will mark treated cows with colored leg bands.
Other farms will use paint to mark these cows in some way. On some farms, treated cows may be kept in a separate group.
Be sure you know how treated cows are labeled on your farm and always follow proper procedures to make sure this milk does not end up in the bulk tank. EL
This article was originally published in the January/February 2012 Dairy Partner/El Compañero newsletter produced by the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension.
Agricultural Agent, Oconto County
Servicio de Extensión, Universidad de Wisconsin