Antibiotics are used with deliberation in Finnish food production
Finnish milk is among the purest in the world. One of the reasons for this is the measured use of antibiotics in the medication of animals. In Finland, antibiotics are used only in the treatment of sick animals and, thanks to diligent testing, the milk used in food production does not contain any residues from medication.
The health of dairy cattle in Finland is generally good. The amount of antibiotics used in the medication of animals is very low in comparison to many EU countries. Antibiotics are not fed to cows as a preventive measure, but only on the basis of a veterinarian's prescription for the treatment of a sick cow.
“In Finland, the care of dairy cattle has focused on preventive measures for a long time, due to which Finnish cows are among the healthiest in the EU,” says Valio's veterinarian Laura Kulkas.
The purity of milk is ensured with tests
Medical care is followed by a withholding period, during which the medicine leaves the cow's system. The medicines and withholding periods applied in the treatment of medical conditions are approved by the Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea. The withholding periods vary according to the administered antibiotic.
The milk of a cow that is being treated is not used in foodstuffs during the treatment and withholding period. The milk's purity is furthermore ensured with thorough testing for antibiotic residues. The milk is tested three times: first at the farm after the withholding period, then from all milk loads at the dairy before they are unloaded and, finally, before the milk is moved to production. This multiphase testing ensures that the purity of the milk used in food production is always guaranteed.