Type: Chapter

The principles of organic livestock farming

Author Susanne Padel

Organic Research Centre

Publication date:

26 February 2019

ID: 9781838796679

E-Chapter format

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Organic animal farming is guided by considerations of naturalness, systems thinking and sustainability, and the four IFOAM principles of health, ecology, fairness and care. The principle of health emphasises the connectedness of different parts of the system and seeks high animal health status through system design. The principle of ecology relates to the integration of livestock with cropping for feeding and nutrient recycling within the farm or region. The principle of fairness encourages respect for animal rights, whilst the principle of care places a responsibility for humane treatment of animals on those working with them. This chapter presents a range of current issues relating to these principles, and illustrates how achieving high animal health and welfare requires active engagement from the whole sector, including farmers, consumers, regulators, advisers and researchers.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Foundational principles of organic livestock farming
3 Implementing principles of organic livestock farming
4 The future of organic principles in livestock farming
5 Conclusion
6 Where to look for further information
7 References