Swiss Cows Will Get Acupuncture in Lieu of Antibiotics

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Hopefully they aren't afraid of needles.

Cows on a farm in Switzerland may soon be some of the world’s most relaxed. The owners are turning to the traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture to treat their cattle. Fire up the soothing rainforest sounds!

As far out as it may seem, this Swiss cow acupuncture program actually has some serious credentials. According to Switzerland’s The Local, the project is a collaborative effort between the veterinary department at the University of Bern and an organic farm in Sorens that is attached to Grangeneuve, a teaching farm that has worked with the university for almost a decade. Starting in May, trainee vets will be taught the art of bovine acupuncture by doctor Lena Jurgensen, an Australian animal acupuncture specialist who is coming to Switzerland specifically for this course. 80 mainly Holstein cows and calves will be part of the program, which aims to find ways to reduce the use of antibiotics.

Despite not being a common conversation topic, bovine acupuncture might not be as bizarre as it sounds. Back in 2013, Beef Magazine – America’s “leading cattle publication” – even ran an article entitled, “It's Not Voodoo! Veterinary Acupuncture Can Be A Helpful Tool For Beef Producers.” The publication spoke to Tim Hold, DVM, who at the time was teaching courses on veterinary acupuncture at Colorado State University. And according to the school’s website, acupuncture is still part of its curriculum. Beef’s report concluded, “Veterinary acupuncture, bas

Of course, using acupuncture as part of a multipronged medical approach is a bit different than trying to swap antibiotics for acupuncture needles. Still, on organic farms, it’s not like cows are allowed to get antibiotics either way, so you might as well let them balance their chi. A happy steak is a tasty steak.

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