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Natural living – a precondition for animal welfare in organic farming

Lund, Dr. Vonne (2006) Natural living – a precondition for animal welfare in organic farming. Livestock Science, 100 (2-3), pp. 71-83.

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Summary

Results from a four year interdisciplinary project are presented. Animal welfare is discussed in relation to values and aims in organic farming. Based on analyzes of organic standards and other publications from the organic movement, basic “organic values” were defined. In addition, two studies of Swedish organic livestock farmers (one quantitative and one qualitative) were made. Ecocentric ethics was then identified as an ethical position for organic farming. The overall concern in organic farming is to develop sustainable farming systems, although animal welfare is also important. These aims are partly contrary, causing some difficult dilemmas related to animal welfare. The actual welfare situation in organic animal husbandry was scrutinized through a literature study. The criticism regarding bad welfare in organic farming could not be confirmed, although parasitic diseases appear to be a problem. An important finding is that animal welfare is understood differently from what is usual in conventional agriculture. It is interpreted in terms of natural living, which includes the possibility to perform a natural behavior, feed adapted to animal physiology and a natural environment. Problems in organic production should be solved with this in mind.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Animal welfare, ecocentric ethics, natural behavior, organic farming, organic livestock production
Subjects: Values, standards and certification
Animal husbandry > Production systems
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Norway > NVI - National Veterinary Institute
Deposited By: Lund, Dr. Vonne
ID Code:8972
Deposited On:02 Apr 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:33
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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