Sunday, June 13, 2010

Healthy Dairy Cows

Volunteering at the 4 State Dairy Days was part of my celebration of June Dairy Month. Dairy Days is a two day event filled with dairy education,dairy judging,cattle exhibiting and a lot of fun with dairy farm families,4-H and FFA members. One of my jobs was to check in exhibitors as they arrived with their cattle. Checking in dairy farm families was much like a family reunion as I recalled so many fun family times at other fairs and cattle shows. My volunteer assignment entailed looking at registration papers and health certificates on each animal. Health certificates are issued by a veterinarian after examination of an animal prior to transport,exhibition,show, or sale. Acquiring health certificates for a cattle show is a standard procedure not only as a safety measure for the animals but also the people participating in or observing the event. Just as health certificates are an important preparation for a cattle show, making sure that our dairy cows are healthy on the farm is part of daily care and observation. Health examinations on dairy farms also protect our cows, our employees and our families. On our farm we have monthly herd health examinations by our veterianarian with other exams as needed. Our cows have their own family physician! Veterinarians are trained to recognize,test,and report signs of any disease in cattle that might be of concern to human health and the animals. Although there are some diseases that cattle may have that could possibly be transmitted to people, healthy cattle usually are not the source of any of these diseases for people. When you are working around animals it is very likely that you may come into contact with manure, saliva or other bodily secretions that could pose some concern if hand-to-mouth transmission of disease agents might occur. A list of diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people is listed in the Veterinary Column in the May10,2010 issue of Hoard's Magazine( Whether we are working on the farm,showing cattle at an event, or caring for the family pet, potential health concerns can be minimized with common sense measures like hand washing,use of sanitizers and/or appropiate hand wipes. Healthy dairy cows producing a healthy product everyday is a great reason to celebrate especially in the month of June!

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