February 15, 2005
Shepherds help vets
Shepherds and farmers from the Mediterranean know how they can use plants and minerals to help sick animals.
The traditional knowledge is proving useful to the pharmaceutical and food industries, according to Dr Andrea Pieroni of the Sociology of Consumers and Households Group. He went in search of the traditional knowledge that shepherds and farmers in the Lucania region of southern Italy have. They often use indigenous plants, minerals and animal products for veterinary remedies. Forty effective naturally-occurring substances have been identified that have a pharmaceutical or nutritionally enhancing effect, and may be of use for improving livestock health, and meat- and milk quality.