Milk & Milk Products
Brief introduction to requirements for organic animal husbandry
according to NPOP, Govt. of India, the US National Organic Program (NOP), Canadian Organic Standards (COS) and ADITI standard interpretation
1. What organic husbandry means:
- Organic feed
- Number of animals linked to available land
- High priority for animal welfare (e.g. adequate housing)
- Priority for natural veterinary medicine; use of allopathics only when no other solution exists
- Animal manure must not become a source of pollution
- Healthy, good quality milk, eggs and meat, instead of maximum quantities.
- NOP: Only organic feed, only those additives and supplements mentioned in the National List (§ 205.603), no manure, urea or plastic pellets. Ruminants must have access to pastures, at least during part of the year.
|Herbivores (ruminants, horses)||Pigs||Poultry|
|Raising of young stock||Natural milk (3 months for cows, 45 days for sheep and goats)||Natural milk for 40 days||No specific require-ments defined|
|Pasturing||Maximum use of pasturing, ac-cording to local possibilities||Desired, but no requirements defined|
|Roughage||Minimum 60% of dry matter||Roughage must be added to daily ration|
|Cereals||Maximum 40% of dry matter||Up to 100%||Minimum 65% for fattening poultry|
|Feed from land in conversion||Maximum 30% of dry matter (60% in case that the land in conversion be-longs to the same farm)|
|Conventional feed||Maximum 10% of dry matter||Maximum 10% of dry matter|
|(Only until August 24, 2005)|
|Additives||Only those listed in Annex II C|
- Livestock production is a land-related activity.
- a. Herbivores shall have access to pasture during the grazing season and access to the open air at other times whenever weather conditions permit. Calculated on the basis of dry matter intake, the consumption of grazed forage during the grazing season of the region shall represent a minimum of 30% of the total forage intake during this period for ruminants that have reached sexual maturity. On all farms a minimum of 0.13 ha (1/3 acre) per animal unit must be devoted to grazing. (One animal unit = one cow or one bull or two calves (each 225 to 500 kg) or five calves (each less than 225 kg) or four ewes and their lambs or six does and their kids).
- b. All other animals, including poultry, shall have access to the outdoors whenever weather conditions permit.
- All NOP, NPOP and COS require appropriate housing, including freedom of movement and comfort behaviour, adequate bedding and temperature. Animals must have access to fresh air, direct sunlight, shade, and shelter. Stables must be kept clean, to prevent diseases and pests. Only those substances may be used for cleaning, disinfection and pest control in stables, which are mentioned in the National List (NOP) and Appendix 8.
- The NPOP gives further details for stables and outdoor exercise areas, like e.g.:
- Livestock must not be tethered
- Livestock housing must have smooth, but not slippery floors. At least half (mammals) or one third (poultry) of the total floor area must be solid, that is, not of slatted or of grid construction
- Calves must not be kept in individual boxes after the age of one week
- Sows must be kept in groups, Piglets may not be kept on flat decks or in piglet cages
- Poultry must be reared in open-range conditions and cannot be kept in cages.
4. Husbandry management practices:
- In principle, natural reproduction should be used. Artificial insemination is permitted. Other forms of artificial reproduction (for example embryo transfers) are prohibited.
- Attaching elastic bands to the tails of sheep, tail-docking, cutting of teeth, trimming of beaks and dehorning must not be carried out. Some of these operations may be allowed in exceptional cases, for reasons of safety or animal health.
- Calf fattening conditions may not encourage anaemia
- Minimum age at slaughter for poultry is defined in Annex I (6.1.9)
- Animals must be transported, loaded and unloaded in a way, which minimizes stress. Allopathic tranquillisers or electrical animal driving devices are forbidden
- Livestock and livestock products must be identified.
5. Origin of animals and conversion period :
- Hardy, locally adapted breeds must be chosen
- Animals must be purchased from organic operations and be managed according to organic standards from birth, with someexceptions. Livestock or livestock products can be sold as organic, in case of organic management during at least:
|Poultry||Laying hens 6 weeks, other poultry 10 weeks, from 3rd day of life on||From 2nd day of life on||From 2nd day of life on|
|Animals for meat||6 months for goats, sheep, pigs, 12 months for beef (at least ¾ of their lifetime)||From birth||Last third of the gestation period (of the dam).|
|Dairy animals||6 months prior to selling milk as organic||1 year prior to selling organic||1 year prior to selling organic|
|Non edible products||Not defined||1 year prior to selling organic (e.g. wool)|
|Conversion of land for forage||Whole forage land of the farm must be converted, conversion for pastures can be reduced to 1 year (6 months in case of grassland without use of chemicals)||No use of chemicals during at least three years||No use of chemicals during at least three years|
|Breeder stock||Only male breeder stock may be purchased from conventional farms without further restrictions||Purchase of non-organic breeder stock is allowed. Females must not be brought onto the farm later than the last third of the gestation, if offspring are to be raised as organic||Animals purchased for breeding shall be from organic enterprises. By way of derogation, when it can be shown that suitable organic breeding stock are not available, non-gestating breeder animals and breeding males may be brought from a non-organic operation onto an organic operation and integrated into the organic system.|
- During the conversion period, livestock products must be sold as conventional!
6. Veterinary treatments:
- Diseases and pests must be prevented through selection of hardy breeds, adequate feeding, housing, sanitary conditions, and vaccines
- In case that animals, in spite of prevention, fall ill, they must be treated; preference is to be given to natural or homeopathic treatments
- In case of allopathic treatments, the waiting time has to be doubled in case of NPOP and ADITI private standards; under NOP, the animal has to undergo the conversion period (if possible; see 5).
- Preventive use of allopathic medicine is forbidden. This refers especially to antibiotics, coc-cidiostatics or hormones used as growth promoters.
- As per COS, When veterinary drugs other than those with specific requirements listed in this standard or CAN/CGSB-32.311, Organic Production Systems — Permitted Substances Lists, are used, a withholding period equivalent to double the label requirement or 14 days, whichever is longer, shall be observed before the products from treated livestock can be considered organic.
- Before the first inspection takes place, the farm has to present an organic management plan to the certifier; this plan has to be updated annually
- A stable diary must be kept, recording at least birth, purchase, sales, and death of animals, besides all veterinary treatments
- Invoices for purchase of feed, veterinary medicine, animals, etc., must be filed
- Harvested quantities must be recorded
- The farm needs at least a simple system of bookkeeping for sales of organic products
- The farmer has to keep a copy of the respective standards and has to study them
- The farmer needs adequate knowledge on organic husbandry rules and technologies.
Standard Inspection Program for Organic Animal Husbandry according to the NPOP, Govt of India, COS, the US National Organic Program (NOP) and ADITI standard interpretation
-> For the crop production part of your farm (including grassland, hayfields and other production of feeding stuffs), please see the Standard Control Program for Crop Production
As a minimum, the inspection of organic husbandry will cover the following aspects:
Review of the organic management plan and its implementation.
Physical inspection :
Visit to all stables, pastures, outdoor exercise areas for animals, addressing:
- Origin of livestock
- Animal health and welfare
- Adequate space, freedom of movement, bedding, ventilation, shade, shelter, etc. for the animals
- Possibility to exercise comfort and social behaviour
- Feeding and water availability and quality
- Veterinary medicine
- Identification of animals
- Manure and urine storage
Visit to storage rooms, on farm processing units, and other farm buildings, addressing:
- Origin of feeding stuffs, conformity of additives
- Labelling, traceability
- Post harvest separation from non-certified products
- Post harvest sources of pollution.
- Maps or drawings of all plots, including farm buildings
- Invoices for purchase of animals, feedingstuffs, veterinary medicine and other relevant inputs
- Stable book, origin of livestock
- Records on daily production
- Storage book and/or processing and/or packing protocol (if relevant)
- Book keeping on all sales of husbandry products.
See also :
- Brief information on organic animal husbandry
Please be aware, that these are the minimum requirements. In many cases, additional issues will have to be included in the inspection schedule!