I know at least five dairy farming families who use milk straight from their bulk tank. And they all have families. Personally, I wouldn’t touch the stuff.

I milked cows for many years and I know that every dairy farmer worth his or her salt ensures that the highest standards of management are brought to bear while in the parlour.

But this still does not stop a list of contaminants as long as one’s arm getting into the bulk tank.

Just think of the number of diseases that we vaccinate cows for today. Meanwhile, tuberculosis (TB) is still a problem and the probability of some dirt getting into the milk cannot be over looked.

Raw milk as a healthy practice?

Some people firmly believe that drinking milk straight from the cow is one of the healthiest practices they can follow.

My answer to that comes by way of the following question: So why does every government in the world insist that milk must be pasteurised before it can be sold in retail outlets?

Milk is undoubtedly a wonder of nature. But I prefer to have mine from a bottle rather than the bulk tank.

The same can be said for beef and lamb. But I prefer to have each meat cooked properly before having them put on a plate in front of me.


Some years ago I took part in a survey which had been designed to find out the number of dairy farmers – and family members – who drank raw milk from their own cows.

The work confirmed that a significant number of farming families did, indeed, follow this practice. Most cited the fact that such an approach saved on the weekly grocery bills.

Personally, I feel this is a totally false economy. For what I believe to be very good health reasons, I prefer my milk to come in a bottle with the contents fully pasteurised.

I know a number of rural health professionals, who feel strongly that more should be done to highlight the health risks associated with the drinking of raw milk. It’s an approach that I fully agree with.

The 2022 spring calving season is up and running. Over the coming weeks, bulk tanks around the country will be brimming over with the ‘white stuff’.  

It’s a time when the government and health professionals should think of raising awareness regarding the risks associated with the consumption of raw, unpasteurised milk.