How are Organic Livestock raised?

Organic agriculture includes crop and livestock systems as well as fish farming systems. Organic livestock production emphasizes a proactive health management programme that addresses environmental factors to reduce stress and prevent disease. Most organic livestock standards require that animals have access to adequate space, fresh air, outdoors, daylight, shade, and shelter for inclement weather, suitable to the species and climatic conditions. Standards require a balanced nutritional programme using primarily organic feeds. Generally, in Argentina, Australia and North America, 100 percent organic feed is required. Under IFOAM, Asian, and current EU standards, only 80 percent of the feed, or less, must be organic (the percentage of organic feed is gradually being increased, according to the standards of the region).     Read more ›

Organic Livestock Management

Managing Livestock
Organic livestock management focuses on the health and well being of animals, people and the environment:
  • Living conditions: Organic livestock producers must establish living conditions which take into consideration the health and natural behavior of the animals. They must provide them with access to pasture and the outdoors, and with clean, dry bedding.
  • Preventive health: Animal health care in organic systems focuses on prevention, not treatment: reduced stress, good nutrition, sanitation, and smart breed selection. When treatment is necessary, allowed practices and substances are clearly defined.
  • Environment: Organic producers must manage manure in ways that don't contaminate water, soil or crops. All of their feed must be grown organically. Pastures must also be certified organic. Planting fodder crops (especially legumes) is of particular help in improving the fertility of the soil. Hedges can be useful not only as windbreaks and as protection against erosion but they can also act as constant source of forage for cattle.
  • Human health: Organic producers are prohibited from using substances that might be harmful to humans, including growth hormones and antibiotics.
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