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Welfare of animal production in intensive and organic systems with special reference to Danish organic pig production.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Meat Science
0309-1740
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
62
Issue
3
Pages
353–358
Identifiers
PMID: 22061611
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although organic meat production is only a small proportion of the total meat production in the EU, it is increasing in size to take the demands of certain market segments into account. Organic production standards vary according to organisation within countries but all must as a minimum fulfil EU legislative requirements. There is a greater potential for optimal welfare in organic systems compared to intensive systems, as the management of farm animals must take into account their physiological, social and behavioural needs. However, demands on management are greater in organic systems, particularly if these are free range, and concern has been expressed regarding animal health. Vaccinations, antibiotics and antihelmintics may only be used in a limited way in organic production and the use of natural and homeopathic products, whose efficacy has not been scientifically documented, must take precedence over veterinary medical products. Legislative requirements regarding the pre-slaughter handling of organic slaughter animals are essentially the same as for all other animals. In Denmark, ethical audits for documenting pig welfare during collection at the farm, during transport and at the abattoir have been proposed and tested on the initiative of the Pig Committee under the Association of Organic Meat Producers in Denmark. It is the hope of the Committee that these audits will be used within the EU to ensure optimal welfare for organic pigs in the pre-slaughter period.

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