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Animal breeding in organic farming:Discussion paper

Nauta, Wytze; Baars, Nauta; Groen, Ab; Veerkamp, Roel and Roep, Dirk (2001) Animal breeding in organic farming:Discussion paper. Louis Bolk Instituut Publications, no. LV45. Louis Bolk Instituut, Wageningen UR , Livestock production / Animal.

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It is uncertain whether animals which have been bred for conventional production are capable of optimum performance in organic conditions. In conventional agriculture there is a movement towards maximum control of production conditions in order to optimise animals' yield in intensive production systems. By contrast, organic agriculture is based on natural processes and closed cycles, and takes into account the underlying connections between production factors. Following organic ideology, production capacity should be curtailed by acting in accordance with guiding principles such as naturalness, animal welfare, efficient use of fossil fuels in the farm cycle, and agri-biodiversity (IFOAM, 1994). Organic production should be tied to the land, with farms preferably being self-sufficient mixed farms with closed cycles.
An additional point of concern are the reproduction techniques used in conventional breeding. Artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer (ET) are commonplace in conventional animal breeding. But these techniques are 'artificial' and they deprive animals of natural mating behaviour and negatively affect the animals' welfare and integrity. By bringing in animals from conventional agriculture, organic farmers are
indirectly making use of these techniques. These and other concerns have led to the project 'Organic breeding: a long way to go', which aims to lay down clear visions and an action plan for an organic breeding system.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:AI, breeding value, genotype by environment interaction
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Breeding and genetics
Research affiliation: Netherlands > Wageningen University and Research Centre WUR
Netherlands > Louis Bolk Institute
Deposited By: Steinbuch, Luc
ID Code:4824
Deposited On:20 May 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:30
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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