Milking Cow
Conventional Milking System Teat Damage Antibiotic Treatment Teat Dip Organic Milk

Milking Problems and Facts:

  • Cows milked on dairy farms are typically milked with a conventional milking system that causes teat swelling/redness, damage teat canal lining resulting in scar tissue formation and udder deformities and inflicts pain throughout the milking process. Don't be fooled by Certified Humane. That program does nothing to address the inhumane treatment of milking machines and permits the physical destruction of teat canals and udders, similar to the photo on the right.
  • The damage and pain inflicted by milking machines leads to mastitis. Mastitis is an infection of the udder caused by bacteria (e coli, Staph aureus, other). Mastitis causes elevated white cell counts in the milk with typical levels of 80 million in a typical serving of milk. Normal levels are 25% or less those of the typical values.
  • Processing of milk does not eliminate the white cells present and does not ensure elimination of the harmful endotoxins produced by Staph aureus.
  • Mastitis is recognized as the most significant and costly problem in the US dairy industry.
  • The typical dairy cow survives just over two years producing milk before being slaughtered as a result of mastitis and udder destruction from milking machines. The productive life expectancy should be many more years.
  • Dairy farmers are forced to rely on artificial hormones to battle the problems caused by conventional milking machines. Dairy farmers must also use a variety of antibiotics to address the recurring infections leading to concerns for creation of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
  • The short useful life of a dairy cow results in high cull rates from dairy farms that lead to introduction of animals from other farms to maintain herd size. This movement of animals promotes the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis and Johnes (related to Crohns).
  • Culled dairy cows are slaughtered for dairy beef and typically by the fast food industry and represents up to 30% of the beef consumed in the US. A 2007 Quality Audit determined that 73% of dairy cows had inadequate muscling.
  • A variety of germicide teat dips are used to combat mastitis. The teat dips are applied before and after milking with trace amounts ending up in the milk.
  • Organic milk, bST free milk and milk labeled Certified Humane does not address the full range of inhumane and milk quality issues. Elevated white cell counts, risk of Staph aureus endotoxins, physical destruction of teat canals and udders still exists with all of those products.