Village entrepreneurship is the main stay for bringing India as number one milk producer in the world. As a result there is limited scope for mechanizing milking procedures but does not mean that India cannot produce clean milk. By launching vigorous campaign, clean milk can be produced by good animal Husbandry practices in villages, small farms with the help of Dairy Development Boards, different Cooperative Dairy Federations etc.
Strategies for clean milk production
The first step to clean milk production should be education and training of milk producers on hygiene, housekeeping, sanitation, milking methods and good animal husbandry practices.
Awareness and training: Educational aids and programmes should be organized for the farmers for making them aware of the importance of clean milk production. This should be in the form of charts/posters displayed at village, society and milk collection centres. Make them aware of the correct handling of the milk from udder to reception dock, maintenance of hygienic environment, clean utensils to availability of milk cooling bulk tanks and coolers.
Feeding practices: The feeds and fodder of the animals should not introduce directly or indirectly microbiological or chemical contaminants in the milk in amounts that is unacceptable to health. Feed fodder and silage should be procured from a reliable source and should be stored properly.
Housing management: The shed should be comfortable and clean with suitable arrangement to dispose dung, urine, feed and fodder residues. There should be proper supply of clean drinking water and electricity. The shed should be washed before milking.
Sanitation and Disinfection of the Animal Houses
- Cleaning and sanitation are complementary. By sanitation we adopt hygienic measures aiming at creating conducive to health of animals and assuring product quality.
- The measures include proper cleaning of habituation, adequate drainage system, adequate lighting of building and sheds, proper ventilation and proper disinfection measures.
- It involves cleaning of bedding material like sawdust, paddy, straw etc. once daily
- Watering and feeding material to be thoroughly cleaned
- In case of mud floor, a top of 12-15 cm soil is removed and replaced with clean soil
- Cleaning and washing of milk parlors
- Sloped drains having width of 6-12 inches and 2 inch depth. It should maintain a proper gradient of 1 in 60 for easy flow of drain water.
- Provide adequate lighting
- Provide proper ventilation
- Disinfect the houses by washing the houses with boiling water, flame blower or by using suitable disinfectants such as formaldehyde, phenols, cresols, washing soda, quick lime, bleaching powder etc.
The hygiene and sanitation process practiced in a dairy herd can not only keep the animal and surrounding healthy but will also find its way for export of milk and milk products thereby, enhancing the efficiency of livestock and its productivity, survivability and longevity.