Somatic Cell Count and Antibiotic Residues in raw milk Produced by Smallholder Dairy Farmers in Lusaka Province of Zambia.
This study was carried out to evaluate the Somatic Cell Count (SCC) and Antibiotic Residues (ARs) in raw milk produced by smallholder dairy farmers (SHDFs) in Lusaka province of Zambia. The study was done during the months of January and February 2014. The SCC was measured using a DeLaval Cell Counter (DeLaval International AB, Sweden) while Copan Milk Test 100 (Copan Diagnostics Inc., Denmark) was used to test for presence of ARs. A total of 83 farmers participated in the study and results revealed that milk from 51 out of the 83 farms (61.44%) had SCC above the maximum recommended number of 300,000 cells/ml by Zambia bureau of standards. The high SCC ranging from 263 to 22.3 x 106 cells/ml was due to subclinical mastitis not noticeable on clinical observation. Milk samples from 25 out of the 83 farms (30.12%) tested positive for ARs. The high SCC and ARs found in the milk indicates the need for further education and training of the SHDFs in aspects of good milk production which should include correct usage of antibiotics and observance of strict withdrawal period after antibiotic treatment from public health point of view. The regulatory authority should establish maximum limits for SCC and ARs in raw milk to be sold to public or processors and monitored regularly.
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