The veterinary department of the University of Bern is to collaborate with an organic farm in Sorens, in the canton of Fribourg, to give students acupuncture classes on a herd of 80 Holstein cows and calves starting in May, Fribourg's agriculture office said on Wednesday.
The classes will be given by an Australian specialist in animal acupuncture who is coming to Switzerland specifically for the Fribourg programme.
According to the agriculture office it will be the first time animal acupuncture classes will be held in Switzerland.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted in the body. It is commonly used for pain relief and to treat a wide range of conditions.
In Switzerland alternative medicine is “in development” as a way of maintaining animal health without the use of antibiotics, said Fribourg's agriculture office.
The organic farm Sorens is attached to Grangeneuve, a teaching farm that has worked with Bern University for a decade and is currently collaborating on a project to reduce the use of antibiotics in milk production.