The aim of this study was to verify the effects of environmental impact caused by dioxin on milk production and metabolic profile in the buffalo cows. The authors analyzed some representative blood parameters related to their different metabolisms, the amount of zinc in blood samples, and milk production parameters, on 160 buffalo cows raised in four farms located in areas with a different environmental impact. Urea, glucose, creatinine, AST (aspartate aminotransferase), ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and zinc contents were determined on serum samples. Milk samples from each buffalo were collected. Daily milk yield and milk composition were significantly different among farms. No difference in milk protein content was found. Urea content, was higher. Glucose concentrations were significantly lower than in farms located in an area contaminated by dioxin. Creatinine values were normal. AST and ALT values were slightly higher than normal. So far, there are not studies on the effect of dioxin on production and metabolic profile in buffalo cows. This study indicates that buffalo breeding herds exposed to dioxins would induce damage in the hepatic parenchyma cells as a result of animal welfare. Accordingly, the effects of environmental pollutants may expose the animals to several infections and diseases, which could affect not only the production traits, but also the qualitative features of their products devoted to human consumption.
Considering the increasing economic relevance of the Buffalo and considering the insufficiency information in the literature on the influence of micro pollutants on the buffalo, this work has focused the attention on the influence the environmental impact on buffalo health and on their production. It is important to remember that the animal is closely linked to the area, monitoring animal’s means monitoring the breeding environment.
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The study was supported by the Italian National Research Council under DG.RSTL.083.001 We are grateful to Giuseppe Grazioli for his technical assistance.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests
All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.