International and National Regulations and Standards E1
Research Institute of organic agriculture, Bernhardsberg, CH-4104 Oberwil/BL, Switzerland
|The market for organic livestock products is
growing due to the fact, that consumers get more and more aware about animal welfare and
health/environment issues. Standards and state regulations for organic animal husbandry
are therefore getting very important as guarantee for the consumers and as a tool to
improve animal welfare.
In a study 12 different standards for organic livestock production have been compared: the existing international standards and guidelines (IFOAM Basic Standards; Demeter International), future supranational regulations to be implemented in 1997 (draft for a regulation in the European Community; draft for guidelines in the Codex Alimentarius, a joint WHO/FAO programme), national state regulations (France, UKROFS/United Kingdom) and animal standards of some European certification organisations (AGÖL/Germany; Bioland/Germany; KRAV/SWEDEN; SKAL/Netherlands; Ernte/Austria; VSBLO/Switzerland). The content of these standards were analysed on the basis of a criteria list, taking the relevant ethical, ethological (animal behaviour), health, environment and socio-economic aspects into consideration. The comparison showed, that many aims and items are similar, especially the limitation for feed from non-organic farms, the prohibition of growth promotants and the prohibition of the use of veterinary drugs in the absence of illness. Concerning minimum requirements for housing, grazing and access to a an area outside the stable, the degree of differentiation is very different. Areas were different regulations do exist are: the withholding period after the use of veterinary drugs, % of brought-in animals, conversion times, the percentage of feed from non-organic farms.
The study concludes that still strong efforts have to be made to harmonise and to develop animal standards on an international as well as on a national level.
Riklin, F.; Schubnell, B. & Schmid, O. (1995): Vergleich internationaler und nationaler Richtlinien der Nutztierhaltung im biologisch-ökologischen Landbau. Internal publication (not published), Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Oberwil/BL (Switzerland).
Boehncke, E. et al. (1991): Alternatives in Animal Husbandry. Proceedings of the International Conference in Witzenhausen July 22-25. University of Kassel (Germany).