I like to be an open book when it comes to our farm, it’s why I write this blog and share on social media. I believe everyone should be able to know exactly how their food is produced, straight from the farmer or grower, without the middleman of the media spinning stories to suit their narrative. And I believe marketing should never mislead consumers.
On our farm, like most, we use every tool we have in our toolbox when it’s necessary, to ensure our animals are healthy. And sometimes, this means using antibiotics and painkillers for issues that need them, and chemical dewormers and other parasite and fly controls, as necessary. Their health and welfare come first.
But all our beef is still free from any of those medicines, just like every single piece of meat produced in Britain, and every British dairy and egg product, because every medicine we ever use has what’s called a Withdrawal Period.
Every time anything is administered to an animal, by law, it has to be recorded and the strict withdrawal period abided by. That can mean keeping them on the farm longer before sending them to the abattoir or market, or dumping their milk down the drain every day if it’s a dairy animal.
Milk is incredibly highly regulated. Every time it’s collected from a farm, it’s tested for antibiotics, to make sure no cow who’s been treated has accidentally gone into the tank. If the test comes back positive, the whole tank of milk gets dumped (sometimes over ten thousand litres), and the farmer gets fined.
That’s why it’s so frustrating when marketing campaigns mislead consumers by saying there’s antibiotics in milk and meat, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There’s even a withdrawal period to abide by on licks that contain garlic (that are used to help with flies), to make sure your steak doesn’t arrive ready-seasoned!
The withdrawal period is different for every product, based on rigorous testing that determines the time it takes for meat and milk to become safe for human consumption after administering it. And farming under Organic Standards often means the standard withdrawal stated has to be doubled!
While we’re on the misleading consumers topic…
Growth hormones and antibiotics used for promoting growth or production are completely banned here in Britain, unlike in some other countries. So, you can rest assured that no British product will ever contain any residues, or have ever come into contact with them, despite what some campaigns against our farming industry will try have you believe!