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Vaccination and permaculture.

 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 256
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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Hey, I was musing on having our cows raised in a totally permacultural way, but I don't think we can do away with certain vaccines we are required to give them.
Actually, our cows are just members of the family that happen to give milk and poop. It's not a commercial operation, they never come in contact with other cows, and no one will ever know if we stopped giving them the vaccines every 6 months (brucellosis, blackfoot and what not).
But how about you guys? What's the situation in North America and how do you make sure the cows don't get those diseases? Just by correct alimentation and hygiene?
 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Vaccines aren't necessarily a bad thing. It's antibiotics and other medicines that you should watch out for.
 
                      
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here's some info that you may find helpful:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahms/beefcowcalf/downloads/beef0708/Beef0708_is_GenVacc.pdf

I wouldn't be worried about a closed herd without vaccinations, unless you buy something at the sale barn on a whim.

Good hygene, regular movement, clean water, and quality mineral are helpful in maintaining good health. If you have been worming on a regular basis and you suddenly stop....they may go downhill. If an animal's system is used to that sort of thing, it will lose it's natural ability to fight parasites on it's own.
 
Jonathan Byron
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SergioSantoro wrote:
Hey, I was musing on having our cows raised in a totally permacultural way, but I don't think we can do away with certain vaccines we are required to give them.


You are implying that Permaculture is against vaccines, but I don't see that as necessarily true.  I do not see this as a central issue of the movement or even an active peripheral one, it is up to people to make their own decisions.

The original vaccine was developed when it was observed that milk maids who were naturally infected with cowpox (a mild disease for most humans) developed immunity to smallpox (a much worse disease)... this principle was extended by intentionally sending people to work with cows to get infected, then preparations were made with cowpox scabs that were scratched onto people's skins, then purified proteins were developed that were injectable.

To protect a cow against brucellosis, we give a cow a tiny amount of killed brucellosis bacteria, and the cow's immune system learns about that bacteria and is much better prepared if the live bacteria comes along and tries to infect the organism. A vaccination process also occurs when we get infected by a disease - the only problem is that the infection may have lots of serious side effects, if the disease kills us, that natural vaccination is not of use.

I would also suggest that probiotics and fermented foods are also a form of vaccination. These produce bacterial proteins that are absorbed into the body, and these proteins send signals that 'teach' the immune system. They are very good for general health promotion but are not panaceas; they cannot provide a high level of protection against some specific diseases that are considered serious.
 
Nathalie Poulin
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sepp holzer mentioned in his latest book that he grows specific poisonous plants and the cow's themselves know when they need to eat them and he no longer needs to worm his cows.
I don't really have much more information, I'm hoping someone who knows more can elaborate.
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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There is an all natural worming product (Verm-X).  I am not promoting it, but know several people who use their products on poultry, horses and goats, and they all swear by the product.  It is pretty costly, but on their website, they list the ingredients.  Most of them can be grown on your own land!

http://www.verm-xusa.com/index.php
 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 256
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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OK, in general I know that the principle of vaccines is what homeopathy is based on and that even in Chinese medicine the remedy for bubonic plague was to scrape someone's sore, dry it, pulverize it and give it to other patients.
My concern was for all those cases of death or malformations (on babies, etc) brought about by modern vaccines. I don't know how they are made and what they contain, but there sure is the interest of the pharmaceutical industry behind them, and that's already bad enough.
It stood to reason (to me) that if in permaculture it's advised to have geese and chickens graze together with cows, so they'll eat their ticks and other pests larvae and no money will have to be spent on chemicals to deworm them, a similar concern would be there with regards to vaccines.
 
                            
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Vaccinosis is a real condition. I don't know how much impact it has on farm animals, as most have a relatively short life expectancy. We deal with it a lot with dogs. A whole lot. The vet associations have finally admitted that vaccinations are a trigger for many autoimmune issues. Sometimes the issue is bigger then just the vaccination, however. Animals who are inbred often have a homozygous MHC (major histocompatibility complex). The animals with homozygous MHC's are at increased risk for autoimmune issues, as well as overall decreased immunity (their immune systems are just plain screwed up!).  Wish I could give you some livestock specifics, but can only give canine info.

I have goats, I will eventually have a closed herd, though at present I don't have the diversity of genetics I need to maintain diversity long term in a closed herd. I don't vaccinate. I DO have testing done.

One of the big issues with vaccines is MONEY
1) no one wants sick animals
2)we are taught that vaccines can prevent certain diseases that we don't want our animals to suffer from
3)Vets are uhhh.. this sounds harsh brainwashed in vet school to believe that vaccines are all good
4)There is a lot of money to be made in vaccines. The more we buy, the more vets sell and give, the more money that is changing hands and the bigger the market.
5)The folks behind this market are the ones who do the testing regarding safety/efficiency, etc.
6) Rarely do the money makers test how long a vaccine is good for. For example, if a critter is vaccinated annually vs once in a lifetime, think of the amount of money that no longer flows. So.. why would anyone making money from vaccines want to test to see how long the vaccines provide immunity for?

I am NOT saying don't vaccinate. Vaccines have done a world of good, they have also done a whole lot of harm. I would encourage everyone to vaccinate with extreme caution and prejudice AND use other measures of health promotion (titer levels, health testing, closed herds) in addition to vaccination.

re: deworming.
There are currently huge issues in the agriculture world as many of the parasites livestock get are rapidly becoming resistant to the wormers that we have available. Many people worm with the calendar, not with the presence of parasites... again because that is what they have been taught, that is what sells wormer, that is what puts money into folks pockets. Vets are trained to promote and recommend worming products and people who don't comply should be burned at the stake, and can be considered by popular opinion to be bad or negligent owners. There are no new de-worming products on the immediate horizons to replace the ones the parasites have developed a resistance to.

Here are a couple of links to goat sites (sorry, again, I don't do cattle), which use mostly natural methods, or which are great resources on parasite resistance:


http://www.jackmauldin.com/health/parasite.htm
http://fiascofarm.com/goats/vac-schedule.htm

http://www.jackmauldin.com/worm_resistant_breeding.htm
 
Jonathan Byron
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Feral wrote:
Vaccinosis is a real condition. I don't know how much impact it has on farm animals, as most have a relatively short life expectancy. We deal with it a lot with dogs. A whole lot. The vet associations have finally admitted that vaccinations are a trigger for many autoimmune issues.


Having read the research on humans, I think the holistic evidence points the other way. The amount of damage done to the body after getting the flu is huge compared to purported damage from vaccines. Having a full blown viral infection puts far more antigenic proteins into your blood, and there is more widespread immune/autoimmune response. 

Guillan-Barre is one possible analog to vaccinosis in people. There is a certain risk of getting it after a routine vaccination. There is a much, much larger risk of Guillan-Barre after a viral infection... there is no zero-risk option as I see it; either we do nothing and personally accept a higher risk, or vaccinate and take what is statistically a much lower risk. Is our knowledge and statistics perfect? No, certainly not. But I believe that a convergence of evidence points to one route being preferable over the other.

From a systems perspective, isn't the real problem with dogs the inbreeding you described? Would such animals not be prone to even higher risk if/when they get some sort of infection??

SergioSantoro wrote:
OK, in general I know that the principle of vaccines is what homeopathy is based on and that even in Chinese medicine the remedy for bubonic plague was to scrape someone's sore, dry it, pulverize it and give it to other patients.


One part of homeopathy might operate like immunology, but that is by accident. The theory of homeopathy is quite different, and it lacks the basis in observation and experimentation that we find in immunology.


SergioSantoro wrote:
My concern was for all those cases of death or malformations (on babies, etc) brought about by modern vaccines.


I too am concerned with potential side effects of any medicine (including natural medicine, and the 'do nothing' option which also involves risk). But there is no good evidence that the vaccines routinely given to humans cause more than the very rare complication, while they clearly do a large amount of good. Risk perception is often more based on psychology - the risk of the familiar or the 'natural' is discounted, while the risk of the exotic or 'un-natural' is inflated.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Personally I'm pretty darn glad not to have polio, etc! 
 
                      
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I get what has been said, but human vaccinations and livestock vaccinations are not apples to apples.

As Feral said, money is a huge motivator..but from both sides of the aisle. It can be economically advantageous to medicate like mad to prevent any death loss (or at least think you are preventing death loss), but that is short term! If that animal isn't processed before it can spread it's genes, then you are simply propagating a high maintenance line. That animal's offspring will have to be medicated or it may get sick and die, then you have wasted time and money.....and so on and so on.

Certain breeds are better in different climates against different diseases, pests, and parasites. Proper management techniques combined with selective breeding can eliminate parasite problems (both inside and outside the animal). I know a guy who does not vaccinate, worm, or pour any of his cattle. They're happy, calm, healthy, pretty, and most importantly low maintenance. However, it took several years to develop such a herd. Its a grass based operation, and the cattle rarely stay anywhere for more than a couple days (similar to how the buffalo grazed). If something has a problem we deal with it; and if the animal requires medication that's ok....but that animal will not be allowed to contribute to the gene pool (unless it was something stupid: like an infected eye from poking it in a hay feeder). Poor herd management has caused many of the problems we currently have with livestock, we have disrupted natural selection way too much.
 
                            
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stewartrIL wrote:

As Feral said, money is a huge motivator..but from both sides of the aisle. It can be economically advantageous to medicate like mad to prevent any death loss (or at least think you are preventing death loss), but that is short term! If that animal isn't processed before it can spread it's genes, then you are simply propagating a high maintenance line. That animal's offspring will have to be medicated or it may get sick and die, then you have wasted time and money.....and so on and so on.

Unfortunately, many of our modern intensive meat producers use a rearing program in which hormones/chemicals/vaccines play just as big a role as the feed the animals are receiving. I think those farmers would flounder in bewilderment and throw their hands up in the air if someone said. "Stop". They don't have a clue how to do it differently (and in some management systems it would be impossible to with any success). They have been told and convinced that what they are doing is the right and the best and the most productive. They have experience behind them, they know what works for them, in their situation and pooey to anyone who wants them to try something different.. afterall, it's their income that's at stake.

Certain breeds are better in different climates against different diseases, pests, and parasites.

Yes! And not only certain breeds, but certain lines within those breeds.

Proper management techniques combined with selective breeding can eliminate parasite problems (both inside and outside the animal).

Yes! Again, however, the problem with selective breeding is maintaining enough diversity to continue the lines without inbreeding. There are lots of great population genetics studies on this. If the selective breeding is implemented without consideration for overall genetics, after a time the major histocompatability complex becomes homozygous and the you will lose the resistance that you have been working to develop. It IS possible to have a heterozygous MHC with a high level of inbreeding and has been observed in some situations involving closed populations of animals. They believe that the animals are attracted to mates who have different MHCs and that animals can somehow tell this through the pheromones they produce.  So when left to their own to select mates, the animals make wiser choices for themselves that will sustain their population than we can as humans.

I know a guy who does not vaccinate, worm, or pour any of his cattle. They're happy, calm, healthy, pretty, and most importantly low maintenance. However, it took several years to develop such a herd. Its a grass based operation, and the cattle rarely stay anywhere for more than a couple days (similar to how the buffalo grazed).

Yes! again. Livestock genetics and management need to work hand in hand to obtain the most optimal health.

If something has a problem we deal with it; and if the animal requires medication that's ok....but that animal will not be allowed to contribute to the gene pool (unless it was something stupid: like an infected eye from poking it in a hay feeder). Poor herd management has caused many of the problems we currently have with livestock, we have disrupted natural selection way too much.


At the Maudlin site in the links I posted previously on this thread are some of the best articles I've ever seen on managing for worm control.

I thought I'd share yet another link. In regards to MHC resistance and a goat virus called CAE (it's kind of heavy reading):

http://www.springerlink.com/content/t57271l417238343/
 
                            
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This very interesting article (with the reference links present so that authenticity of the content can be determined)  was sent to me yesterday:

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/purdue-vaccination-studies/
 
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