Trans Disciplinary University (TDU) and Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) have teamed up with Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) and MILMA of the Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd for working on reducing the level of antibiotic residue in milk to meet CODEX norms. To follow up on this, a Natural Livestock Farming – India (NLF-India) Platform has now been set up.
Herbal formulations from TDU and TANUVAS can provide viable herbal substitutes for antibiotics and other chemical drugs. In fact a study of milk samples from Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu carried out by the TDU and TANUVAS, has revealed that milk from Karnataka contains the least quantity of antibiotic residue.
The conclusion was drawn after tests were conducted thrice over three years with 240 samples, according to Dr M N Balakrishnan Nair, emeritus professor (TDU), an expression of Foundation for the Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, (FRLHT), Bengaluru, at the India Donor and Knowledge Holders meeting sponsored by the Centre of Expertise for Natural Livestock Farming (NLF), the Netherlands.
The main purpose of the meeting was to create an Indian Knowledge Application Platform for NLF. The mission was to achieve ‘One Health’ (human, livestock and environment) based on natural products and holistic knowledge.
Both TDU and TANUVAS, in a selected area using herbal formulations, has been able to reduce antibiotic residues in milk by up to 49 per cent in 2013-14.
Wim Hiemstra, agronomist, organic development expert, dairy farming associate in Dutch Farm Experience, and member, Scientific Committee for One Health, Brussels, 2016, said that the rich knowledge available in India on medicinal plants for treatment of animal diseases is now inspiring Dutch farmers. They are testing Indian herbal recipes and also looking at their own (Dutch) and European medicinal plants afresh. This is supported by the Dutch Oxfam eMotive, an exchange programme where professionals from the global south and north share their local solutions for global issues. The joint learning between India and the Netherlands will help both countries.
The Netherlands ministry of health has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian ministry of health to help reduce antibiotic residue present in animal products such as milk and meat products and antimicrobial resistance.
Dr Nair lamented on the lack of effective and regular monitoring of antibiotic residue in milk and added that Ayurveda can provide an alternative. TDU and TANUVAS have already documented and assessed formulations which can be substituted for antibiotics in 15 clinical conditions in livestock.
“We have to look beyond producing safe milk, to building educational and resources programmes involving universities that can create postgraduate courses and research around the subject,” said Darshan Shankar, VC, TDU.