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Rethinking and engaging with animal health in organic farming


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Vaarst, Mette (2019) Rethinking and engaging with animal health in organic farming. In: Vaarst, Mette and Roderick, Stephen (Eds.) Improving organic animal farming. Burleigh Dodds series in Agricultural Science, no. 46. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge UK, chapter 4, pp. 59-78.

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The organic principle of health highlight ‘the wholeness and integrity of living systems’. It is not simply the absence of illness, but the maintenance of physical, mental, social and ecological well-being. Immunity, resilience and regeneration are key characteristics of health. We often articulate health as ‘disease freedom’. If we see ‘resilience’ as a key component of health, we focus more on how we can meet the species-specific needs and challenges of each animal species, both as individuals (physical and mental well-being), as groups (social well-being), and in their surroundings and their landscapes in many different contexts (ecological well-being). The human responsibility towards animals is to understand their natural needs, organize the surroundings to allow the animals to meet them, and at the same time be ready to intervene to prevent or stop suffering. The chapter gives practical and research-based examples of how to support the different aspects of animal health.

EPrint Type:Book chapter
Keywords:Resilience, species-specific needs, well-being, immunity, regeneration
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > Faculty of Science and Technology > Department of Animal Science
Deposited By: Vaarst, Dr. Mette
ID Code:36445
Deposited On:28 Oct 2019 11:49
Last Modified:28 Oct 2019 11:49
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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