Wearing gloves is an important part of any effective milking routine on dairy farms, as they greatly reduce bacterial transference.

Farmers complete a wide range of task on a daily basis and thus come into contact with many potentially harmful substances.

Wearing gloves during the milking process has become fairly common on farms, but they should also be worn when completing a number of other tasks.


Wearing gloves during milking can greatly reduce the risk of transferring mastitis-causing bacteria from one cow to another.

Even after washing your hands, bacteria can still be present in cracks and creases or under your nails.

This can make your hands a vessel for spreading bacteria, whereas a smooth surface makes it easier to remove bacteria.

It is important to note that wearing gloves is not however, a substitute for cleaning your hands.

You should continue to keep the gloves clean and remove any obvious material that has become attached to them during milking.

During milking you should also be wearing clean dairy wear such as an apron, and keep the parlour as clean as possible.


Apart from the milking process, gloves should also be worn when completing a number of other jobs on farms, particularly jobs that involve chemicals, oils and animal medications.

Protective clothing should always be worn when appropriate, to protect from chemicals and other potentially harmful substances.

Other times when gloves should be worn are when dealing with sick animals or calving cows.

The transfer of a zoonotic disease – from animal to human – can easily happen through cuts on your hands.

Wearing gloves will not only protect yourself, but also the cow you calved and/or the sick calf you treated.

Dealing with livestock can be a high-risk job, but simple measures can go a long way to protecting yourself from potential illnesses.