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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: One Health Students

Fall 2008
Gretchen Kaufman, DVM
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

1. Glossary – Student Work

Animal rights
The right of animals not to be exploited by humans. This viewpoint generally holds that it is not morally acceptable for humans to use or claim animals as property.

Animal welfare
Protection of the health and well-being of animals – including comfort hygiene, stress, etc. This viewpoint generally accepts that it is morally acceptable for humans to use animals for food, research, clothing, etc, as long as unnecessary suffering is avoided and where appropriate alternatives are unavailable.

Anti-microbial resistance
The ability of a microbe (such as a bacteria) to withstand the effects of a drug or other substance that would otherwise neutralize or kill it. Resistance to antibiotics is becoming increasingly common, partly through microbial exposure to the drugs.

Temporary suspension of breath.

The variety of species, the genetic variability of each species, the abiotic systems that support living species, and the variety of different ecosystems they form.

a resilient layer of microorganisms coated by an extracellular matrix; usually adheres to surfaces (referenced Roberts, AJ. Pathogen, host and environmental factors contributing to the pathogenesis of listeriosis).

Biological oxygen demand
A chemical measurement of water quality indicating the amount of oxygen used by organisms in the water.

Bovine Somatatropin (bST, BST
Also known as Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), recombinant growth hormone (rBGH) or artificial growth hormone. A naturally or synthetically derived protein administered to cows to increase milk production. ( ).

A sudden, rapid constriction of the muscles in the walls of the bronchioles of the respiratory tract.

Bulk tank somatic cell count
A measure of somatic cells per milliliter of milk taken from the farm bulk tank. The bulk tank is the central holding tank where milk from all cows on the farm is collected. Samples of milk from the bulk tank are reflective of the entire herd, not individual cows. The BTSCC is a good indicator of udder health in the herd: a high BTSCC indicates higher levels of udder disease, specifically subclinical mastitis.

CAFO (confined animal feeding operation
Livestock operations are typically defined as CAFOs by EPA based primarily on the size of the herd confined for at least 45 days of the year, whether or not there is vegetation in the confinement area, and the amount of water pollution they produce. A 700 cow dairy that met these requirements would be considered a "large CAFO", and one from 200-699 cows would be considered a "medium CAFO" if it discharged pollutants into surface waters. ( ).

California Mastitis Test (CMT
A rapid, cow-side test to assess the somatic cell count of an individual cow. Milk from each quarter is mixed in a small tray with the reagent, and results read immediately by assessing the thickness of the milk-reagent mixture after swirling. The more gel-like the mixture, the more somatic cells are present. The CMT is a good indicator of subclinical mastitis in the individual cow.

In humans, the seven vertebrae of the neck.

Chemical oxygen demand
A chemical measurement of water quality indicating the amount of oxygen needed to fully decompose organic matter in the water (i.e. soil, manure, leaves, dead organisms).

Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis may or may not be caused by infection and is generally part of a syndrome called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); it is defined clinically as a persistent cough that produces sputum (phlegm) and mucus, for at least three months in two consecutive years. ( ).

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease-COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs causing shortness of breath. In contrast to asthma, the limitation of airflow is poorly reversible and usually gradually worsens over time ( ). One form of COPD particularly related to dairy farming is chronic bronchitis.

Clinical Mastitis
Infected udder(s) that are clinically recognizable due redness, swelling, firmness or pain of the mammary gland or grossly abnormal milk.

A process of aerobic decomposition which generally kills a significant portion of pathogens as a properly managed compost pile will reach temperatures up to 160 degrees F.

Conventional dairy farming
A yield-based approach to creating a livelihood from raising and maintaining cows for milk production, limited only by basic food safety product quality standards.

Crop rotation
Planting different types of crops consecutively generally on an annual basis) in the same location.

100 pounds, an abbreviation for "hundredweight", a common measurement of bulk milk.

A single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon. e.g.: hydrologic cycle, nitrogen cycle, carbon cycle, etc.

Dissolved oxygen
The amount of oxygen freely available in the water; necessary for aquatic life and the oxidation of organic materials.

The Dose-response relationship describes the change in effect on an organism caused by differing levels of exposure (or doses) to a stressor (usually a chemical). This may apply to individuals (e.g.: a small amount has no observable effect, a large amount is fatal), or to populations (.e.g.: how many people are affected at different levels of exposure). (

Ecological health
The ability of an ecosystem to function well and continue to provide natural goods and services and maintain biodiversity.

Ecological service
The benefits of healthy ecosystems which serve all living organisms through purification of air and water, maintenance of biodiversity, decomposition of wastes, soil and vegetation generation and renewal, pollination of crops and natural vegetation, groundwater recharge through wetlands, seed dispersal, greenhouse gas mitigation, and aesthetically pleasing landscapes.

A highly interactive community and its surroundings; part inorganic (non-living) and part organic (living), the latter including producers, consumers, and decomposers.

Ecosystem degradation
An event that impairs the ability of an ecosystem to function properly.

Ecosystem disruption
An event that alters the ability of an ecosystem system to function.

Any liquid flowing out of the ground or from an enclosure to the surface flow network, typically the liquids discharged from domestic, industrial and municipal waste collection systems or treatment facilities.

Particles and gases released into the atmosphere as by-products.

Environmental health
The physical, chemical, and biological processes and interactions between living and non-living worlds that influence social, physical, and emotional well-being.

Process of bodies of water receiving excess nutrients that stimulate excessive plant growth (such as algae), reducing dissolved oxygen as plants decompose, which can cause other organisms to die from the low levels of dissolved oxygen.

A n object that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission (M &W).

Green or dried leaves of plants fed to livestock including but not limited to: pasture, crop residues, immature cereal crops, and hay.

Inflammation of stomach and intestines; common symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.

The seeds of plants such as corn, wheat, or rye.

Greenhouse gas
A gas, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, that absorbs and re-emits infrared radiation, warming the earth's surface and contributing to climate change.

The food, water, and shelter suitable for the survival and reproduction of an organism or the organisms' population.

Habitat alteration
Any change in the structure or function of a habitat, often induced by human activities.

A fermented mixture of hays or grasses that store well and are easily digested.

A group of animals who are kept together.

Herd health
The physical well-being of the herd, as measured by indicators such as lameness, reproduction success,

A measurable variable (or characteristic) that can be used to determine the degree of adherence to a standard or the level of quality achieved.

Intensive grazing
A technique of putting relatively high density of cows on a section of pasture and moving them to new areas frequently (>2x/week) to ensure more uniform and maximum use of the pasture and minimal damage to the forage. Also known as management intensive grazing (MIG) and rotational grazing.

Productive work (physical or mental) serving as an input into the farm business; includes hired labor, the

Pits used to store liquid manure, often after sifting off the solids to use for bedding or composting. Some pits are lined or covered.

Disability or disease of limbs or feet that interferes with normal and pain-free movement.

Land use
The human modification of the natural environment or wilderness into the built environment, such as fields, pastures, and settlements.

A term used to encompass all the purposeful decisions and actions around use of resources as well as unintended consequences (i.e. soil, water, crops, herd).

Marketing order
An instrument used by the USDA to stabilize prices and supply of particular food commodities. Federal milk marketing orders typically include minimum prices and standards by which milk is classified into different price categories, among other stipulations that producers and processors agree to. Marketing orders must be approved by USDA and a majority of producers, and all handlers, or primary buyers of milk, must adhere to the minimum price. Currently 11 regional Federal Milk Marketing Orders, covering most U.S. states.

Inflammation of the mammary gland. Infectious causes are most common and include species of Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and E. coli.

A condition caused by higher than normal .

Nitrogen limited
A state of nutrient balance where the crop growth is limited by the amount of nitrogen available.

Nutrient overload
An excess of nutrients, generally either nitrogen or

A substance assimilated by living things that promotes growth, including nitrogen and phosphorus.

Organic dairy farming
A livelihood based on raising and maintaining cows for milk production under the organic philosophy as prescribed by the National Organic Program; specifically, maintaining records and undergoing inspections to certify production with access to pasture and without use of synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, most pesticides, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and growth hormones as well as certain additional conservation practices (which vary from area to area).

Organic farming
Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved." (from IFOAM)

Organic matter
a variety of carbon sources in the soil, such as decomposed plant matter, manure, living and dead fungi, bacteria, etc., that act to maintain soil fertility and play important roles in nutrient and water cycles.

A specific causative agent (as a bacterium or virus) of disease (M & W).

Fine liquid or solid particles, such as dust, smoke, mist, fumes, or smog, found in air or emissions.

A blend of grasses, legumes, and other shrubs used for grazing; usually used for multiple years prior to re-seeding.

A chemical used to kill pests, including weeds, rodents, insects, fungi, viruses, and bacteria while hopefully not harming the desired crop/product.

Phosphorus limited
A state of nutrient balance where crop growth is limited by the amount of phosphorus available.

An essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone. A characteristic property that defines the apparent nature of something.

Quality of Life (QoL
In public health and in medicine, the concept of mental health over time, particularly in terms of feeling physically, financially, and psychologically able to continue to function.

An organism in which a parasite that is pathogenic for some other species lives and multiplies usually without damaging the host. (M&W).

The portion of precipitated or irrigated water that moves across land as surface flow when the amount of liquid on the soil exceeds the amount of liquid the soil can absorb. This water which then enters streams or other surface receiving waters, often carries contaminants from the land such as soil, manure, fertilizer or pesticides.

The condition in which the salt content of soil accumulates over time to above normal levels; may occur in areas of historically high irrigation and areas where water containing high salt concentration evaporates from irrigated fields with standing water.

The process of sediment being carried into and deposited in surface waters. Sedimentation can smother benthic organisms (organisms that live at the bottom of a depth of water) and increase turbidity, thus degrading surface water habitats.

Sentinel species
A species used as an indicator of overall environmental conditions, particularly contaminants.

A chopped mixture of mature corn and the corn stalk that has been fermented to maintain food safety and increase the digestibility.

Soil compaction
The loss of airspace between soil aggregates, generally due to heavy machinery and repeated tillage to the same depth; leads to decreased water infiltration.

Subclinical mastitis
Mastitis which is not clinically recognizable. The udders and teats appear normal and milk appears grossly normal

A mechanism through which the (federal or state) government supports the production of a commodity or particular producers/businesses that might otherwise not be feasible given market conditions. Subsidies include but are not limited to direct payments, crop insurance, conservation payments, purchase and removal, export enhancement, etc.

Sustainable dairy farming
A livelihood based on raising and maintaining cows for the purpose of milk production while working to maintain all the elements required to provide healthy food on a regular basis for present and future generations: healthy and diverse environments (soil, water, air, and habitats); healthy, diverse, and freely reproducing seeds, crops, and livestock; and the values, creativity, knowledge, skills, and local institutions that enable societies to adapt effectively to environmental and social change (adapted from the Michigan Food and Farming 2025 Vision Statement). Organic farming is a version of sustainable farming for which minimum standards have been codified into

An organized assembly of resources and procedures united and regulated by interaction or interdependence to accomplish a set of specific functions.

In humans, the 12 vertebrae of the middle and upper back, most of which are associated with attached ribs.

Mechanically turning over the soil; generally for weed control, to mix in manure, or prior to planting.

Total mixed ration
A commercial blend of roughage (coarse, indigestible food, typically fiber), grain, and minerals meant to fulfill a cow's complete nutritional needs.

Toxic agent
A substance that is harmful, destructive, or deadly to an organism.

A measure of the amount of light intercepted by a given volume of water due to the presence of suspended and dissolved matter and microscopic biota. Increasing the turbidity of the water decreases the amount and depth of light that penetrates the water column.

the mammary gland of bovines (also used for sheep and goats). The udder of a cow is divided into quarters.

Upper respiratory infection.

Zoonotic diseases
Infectious diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans or that may infect both humans and animals. For example: leptospirosis, rabies, anthrax, equine encephalitis, BSE, Brucellosis.