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Organic Livestock: Animal Health, Welfare and Husbandry Assessment of existing knowledge and production of an advisory resource compendium(OF0162)

Roderick, Stephen and Hovi, Malla (2001) Organic Livestock: Animal Health, Welfare and Husbandry Assessment of existing knowledge and production of an advisory resource compendium(OF0162). University of Reading, Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Research Unit (VEERU).

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Online at: http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/project_data/More.asp?I=OF0162

Summary

1. A compendium of animal health and welfare information relevant to organic livestock production has been produced by the Organic Livestock Research Group (OLRG), Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Research Unit (VEERU), Department of Agriculture, the University of Reading. The compendium is supported by full scientific abstracts taken from the CAB International information database.
2. The objective of the project was to:
- Create a database and archive of information on animal health, welfare and husbandry relevant to livestock production under organic standards;
- Assess the database and its relevance to organic livestock production;
- Develop a series of compendia of advisory resource materials on CD-ROM and in printed format, in consultation with relevant sector bodies, the veterinary profession and organic livestock producers.
3. The compendium has been produced in a CD ROM format and is internet accessible (http://www.organic-vet.reading.ac.uk/). The compendium has been reviewed by specialist veterinarians, advisors and farmers. For copyright purposes, the internet accessible version has been produced without scientific abstracts
4. The aim of the compendia is to serve as a resource material for advisors, inspectors and veterinarians who work with organic or converting farmers in the UK. It is also envisaged that the compendia could be used as a training tool for advisors and veterinarians learning about the issues related to general and specific animal health and welfare aspects of organic livestock production. In addition, the material will provide a useful resource material for the sector bodies and policymakers in the development of organic livestock production standards and regulations.
5. Each compendium is divided into four sub-compendia: Cattle, Sheep, Pigs and Poultry. Each is further divided into two sections. An introductory section, Health and Welfare, outlines general health and welfare issues related to the specific organic production system. Emphasis is placed on the requirements of organic standards in the approach to health and welfare problems. A second section, accessible via the Disease Index, deals in detail with the specific conditions affecting the species in question. Each disease is indexed alphabetically, and by the veterinary and common terms normally applied.
6. The Disease Section describes a range of specific condition is divided further into sub-sections on causes, symptoms, treatment, control, prevention, welfare implications, good practice based on current knowledge and guidelines for the conversion period. The poultry compendium does not contain a sub-section on the conversion period as there is little technical information available to support this.
7. In total, the compendium covers 45 cattle, 44 sheep, 32 poultry and 27 pig diseases and conditions.
8. Each section is supported throughout by references to scientific literature and other publications. These references can be accessed directly from the text by using text links to scientific abstracts, scanned-in advisory materials and reference or reading lists.
9. The compendium has Help and Search facilities.
10. At the time of publication. the compendium contains over 1700 scientific references and more than 50 full advisory documents. It is intended that this particular feature of the compendia will prove useful when in-depth information is sought, or the compendia are used as a training tool.
11. It should be emphasised that the compendium is not intended as a diagnostic or self-help tool for animal health management on the farm. For this reason, diagnostics are not covered in any depth, and the treatment sections usually only suggest potential treatment categories and discuss the urgency and need for treatment from an animal welfare perspective. The authors wish it to be known that diagnosis should always be carried out by a veterinary surgeon, in response to problems seen on a farm.
12. The compendium have been reviewed by members of the advisory team at the Organic Advisory Service on Elm Farm Research Centre in Berkshire, by specialist veterinarians and by organic farmers.
13. In light of the rapid developments within organic farming and research, it is proposed that the information contained within the compendium will require frequent updating, probably on an annual basis. A proposal for the maintenance and expansion of the compendium has been included within the final proposal. The main component of this proposal is the development of a “stakeholder club” of interested parties, whose function would be to raise financial support, to supply technical information and to provide a practical link to the organic farming, advisory and administrative sectors.


EPrint Type:Report
Type of Facility:Other
Keywords:livestock health, livestock welfare, livestock diseases, knowledge transfer, veterinary treatments, livestock husbandry, livestock production, Internet, Standards, training tools,
Subjects: Values, standards and certification
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication > Technology transfer
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: UK > Univ. Reading, VEERU
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Related Links:http://www.organic-vet.reading.ac.uk/
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:6663
Deposited On:05 Apr 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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