Raw milk - vets stance

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9 years 4 weeks ago #39521 by cowvet
For those who are interested....

The New Zealand Veterinary Association has made an official submission against the sale of raw milk to the public.

When asked (by MPI) for details on cost for a vet to visit a farm twice a year to ''certify the herd as healthy'' vets replied that as a profession they wanted no part in giving the public the illusion that if the herd 'looks healthy'' that this gives any assurance that the milk is safe. All of NZVA's experienced dairy practitioners who contributed to the NZVA submission stated that it would not be possible to guarantee the safety of raw milk by routine veterinary inspection of farms.

Vets have been instructed by their professional insurance provider to refrain from certifying any herd as healthy for raw milk sale and the insurer will resolve to exclude cover for this activity.

feedstuffsfoodlink.com/story-drinking-ra...lness-risk-71-126289


I love animals...they're delicious

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505591 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Raw milk - vets stance
In other words vets just want to cover their backsides.

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505595 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

kai;511993 wrote: In other words vets just want to cover their backsides.

I have seen enough filter socks in dairy sheds, diagnosed enough salmonella, listeria, lepto and campylobacter in what could be seen as a ''healthy herd'' to know that I need to cover my backside with regard to my professional advice to the public on matters of food safety.

Would you drink raw milk from a farm if you saw a certificate signed by the local school teacher certifying that the cows were healthy?


I love animals...they're delicious

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505596 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Raw milk - vets stance
Surely all that is required is a disclaimer to the effect of "the herd is healthy but this does not mean the raw milk from this herd is safe "

I don't purchase raw milk but I am annoyed at this chipping away of our right to consume what we like. We can purchase cigarettes and alcohol in the supermarket, which kill hundreds of people a year, but raw milk providers have to jump through hoops to supply a natural food to the few people who wish to consume it. How bizarre is the world we live in.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505598 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Raw milk - vets stance
I can completely understand the NZVA's stance as, in my own mind, health of a herd, while good to know, is a separate thing to hygienic milk collection/storage practices on a daily basis. I think it's unfair to criticise vets for 'covering their backsides' - they have vastly more to lose if something goes wrong with a supposed 'certified' farm than us social commentators who offer our own opinions on these issues do.

I think that raw milk should be available for those that wish to purchase it but, IMHO, the public needs to be fully informed that raw comes with no guarantee of safety, and warnings with the product that it could particularly compromise the health of certain sections of the community. That way it's solely the decision of the purchaser after being made aware of potential risks.

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505600 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

Anakei;511998 wrote: Surely all that is required is a disclaimer to the effect of "the herd is healthy but this does not mean the raw milk from this herd is safe "

so what the bliming point of me signing anything at all...damp bus ticket much? ... they want me to sign a certificate insinuating that the milk is safe when I cant say that it is

I don't purchase raw milk but I am annoyed at this chipping away of our right to consume what we like. We can purchase cigarettes and alcohol in the supermarket, which kill hundreds of people a year, but raw milk providers have to jump through hoops to supply a natural food to the few people who wish to consume it. How bizarre is the world we live in.

Anakei - you can go and consume cow poo and donkey piddle if you like but I am sure as heck not going to write you a certificate telling you that it is safe to do so because the animal looks healthy twice a year!

That's like asking your GP to go out and certify a crop of tobacco on a farm as healthy, or that the grapes on the vines aren't going to make you sick when you drink the wine.

If you want to go natural go for it - that's your risk to take. I cant tell you that its OK or safe


.


I love animals...they're delicious

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505606 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Raw milk - vets stance

cowvet;512002 wrote: .

What's with the purple ink? Are you shouting at me? :(

I actually agree with you.
Asking a vet to certify food safety when the food produced is beyond his control is ridiculous. Animal health and food safety, while there is an overlap, need to be de-coupled. Then you could concentrate on animal health with a clear conscience.

I'll skip the donkey piddle - it gives me headache.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505607 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Raw milk - vets stance

Anakei;512008 wrote:
I'll skip the donkey piddle - it gives me headache.

Have you tried it pasteurised instead? :p

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505608 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic Raw milk - vets stance

kai;512009 wrote: Have you tried it pasteurised instead? :p

He said "Do you want it pasteurised cos pasteurised is best"
And she said "Ernie, I'll be happy if it comes up to my chest"

Quote Ernie the Fastest Milk Man in the West

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505619 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic Raw milk - vets stance

Anakei;512008 wrote: What's with the purple ink? Are you shouting at me? :(

I actually agree with you.
Asking a vet to certify food safety when the food produced is beyond his control is ridiculous. Animal health and food safety, while there is an overlap, need to be de-coupled. Then you could concentrate on animal health with a clear conscience.

I'll skip the donkey piddle - it gives me headache.

Purple To show My reply within your text.
CAPITALS WOULD BE SHOUTING.

The largest employer of veterinarians in NZ is the food safety authority/MPI so uncoupling would fragment our profession . On a daily basis much of my job in clinical farm practice is linked to food safety given that I am servicing the meat and milk trade


I love animals...they're delicious

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505621 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Raw milk - vets stance
Purple ink is the best sort.

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505624 by wttmf
Replied by wttmf on topic Raw milk - vets stance

Anakei;511998 wrote:

I don't purchase raw milk but I am annoyed at this chipping away of our right to consume what we like. We can purchase cigarettes and alcohol in the supermarket, which kill hundreds of people a year, but raw milk providers have to jump through hoops to supply a natural food to the few people who wish to consume it. How bizarre is the world we live in.

Right to consume what you want (harmful or not ) as long as it obscenely profitable for the right corporations, if not our rulers may make it illegal (for our own good - yeah right ).

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505627 by Inger
Replied by Inger on topic Raw milk - vets stance
All I know is, that I grew up on raw, refrigerated milk from Tb and Lepto tested cows and our family didn't suffer from it.

The urine which splashed around during milking and assisting calving cows without using long vet gloves, caused my Dad more illnesses than drinking raw cows milk.

If the milk wasn't collected cleanly and had a high bacteria count, it was marked down by the dairy company and you got a drop in pay-out. So it was in every farmer's best interests to make sure that the milk was collected hygienically from the cows and stored safely, ready for the milk tanker. Producing a good product was a matter of pride.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505630 by Althea from Middelmost
A very interesting thread. I have been drinking my own raw, A2A2 Jersey milk for years. I have always considered my cows to be healthy, happy and well cared for. I am now milking my little herd on a commercial basis and I have to comply with a huge range of procedures to ensure the milk that leaves my vat is of the highest quality possible. The type and number of tests that show the quality and safety of my milk is wide and thorough and my milk is always A+ or Finest. My milk filter is changed every milking and the used filters look as if they have not had a milking through them as I wash every udder before the cups are put on. I have each cow tested for her milk quality four times a year and the results show me which cows are my best milkers and which may not be doing as well as they should. These tests also give me a sometic cell count (SCC) which lets me know which cows might be harbouring a possible infection of some sort. This could be just a simple hic-up because she was a young cow cutting teeth when the test was taken or it could be an indication one or more quarters of the cow could have picked up a bug or it could be the cow has cut or scratched herself and her body is sorting the injury out as bodies normally do. Just looking at the cow would not tell me any of this unless it was totally obvious but the herd testing does. It is really interesting that the happiest, healthiest, tubbiest and loveliest looking cow in my herd also has the highest SCC in the herd. :)

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9 years 4 weeks ago #505637 by llvonn
Replied by llvonn on topic Raw milk - vets stance
As someone who does drink raw milk I completely understand the vets position. Considering we are moving to the american system of litigation - I definitely would not want to open myself up to legal action or face blame if someone got sick or died.

I do not think that the Government should stop me from making an educated choice as to what I consume, especially considering the c%#p advice I recently got regarding 'healthy eating' (margarine anyone). I read it and filed it in the rubbish bin.

The MPI and their consultation documents are not really engaging in true consultation. Their options they provided were loaded towards what they wanted to install and not what the public want.

Yes there are risks in drinking raw milk, but in some areas of NZ there is more risk drinking tap water. By all means warn of the dangers, but please give people the choice. The farmer I buy my milk from himself says that there are some farmers whose milk he would not touch with a barge pole.

Consumers should be given information on how best to make the decision whether they drink raw milk or not. They should not buy blindly without having been to the farm and talked to the farmer. But in the end we should be able to make the decision for ourselves.

Also, there are other reasons why people may choose to buy direct from the farm. Buying from the store you do not know what farms the milk comes from. I object to the use of PKE as feed so do not want to buy from companies that support the destruction of rainforest and contribute to the loss of habitat of many rare and endangered species.
I know what my local farmer feeds his cows and it is not PKE.

1 Border Terrier, 5 hens, 5 chicks, an orchard and vege garden. All on 350 square metres.

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