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Possibilities and limitations of protein supply in organic poultry and pig production. Summary of Results from EEC 2092/91 (Organic) Revision

Sundrum, Albert (2005) Possibilities and limitations of protein supply in organic poultry and pig production. Summary of Results from EEC 2092/91 (Organic) Revision. Elm Farm Research Centre Bulletin (78), pp. 6-9.

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One of the main objectives of organic agriculture is to establish a largely closed nutrient cycle within the farm system. To limit the input of nutrients in quantity and quality is relevant both to plant and livestock production. If nutrient input is unavoidable to ensure an adequate supply for the farm animals, this should preferably originate from organic systems, while the input of conventional feed stuffs should be restricted to a minimum, and synthetic products are banned. Dealing with limited availability of feed and nutrient resources is therefore a main feature of organic livestock production.
The organic approach stands in contrast to the situation in conventional livestock production where the use of feeds and nutrients is restricted primarily by the purchase price. While conventional production has to face various local, regional and global problems caused by excess import and use of concentrated feeds, problems of organic livestock production are primarily related to a lack of nutrients at the farm or herd level. Due to these system-related conditions, there is concern about been able to formulate adequate rations for the nutritional-physiological needs of livestock, especially in relation to essential amino acids in the feeding of poultry and pigs. Nutritional imbalances encountered in practice might lead to deteriorating animal health and welfare.
On the other hand, there is also concern that allowing conventional feedstuffs to be fed in organic livestock production. This could result in intensification of production, causing the same problems in organic as in intensive livestock production, such as animal health problems, risk of residues and GM contamination. Thus, extending the derogation for conventional feed in the EU regulation may have a damaging effect on consumer confidence in organic animal products.
Work within an the EU funded research project “Organic Revision” (Research to support the revision of the EU Regulation on Organic Agriculture) has the aim to provide knowledge on how to achieve 100% organic feed rations for livestock and simultaneously avoid negative effects on the farm animals. The first step in the project is to obtain an overview of the many different and system related aspects of the protein supply in organic poultry and pig production. The nutritional-physiological effects of a variation in protein supply with respect to growth performance and protein accretion in broilers, turkeys, laying hens and pigs are examined by literature review. Furthermore, the potential effects of the supply with amino acids on product quality and animal health and welfare are addressed. Many different aspects are taken into account to discuss the question of whether extending the derogation concerning the use of non-organic feedstuffs should be considered with respect to the objectives and framework conditions of organic livestock production.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:feed, poultry, pig, production, protein, closed nutrient cycle
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: Germany > University of Kassel > Department of Animal Nutrition and Animal Health
European Union > Organic Revision
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC) - Elm Farm
Related Links:http://www.organic-revision.org
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:10981
Deposited On:09 Jul 2007
Last Modified:08 Jul 2010 10:10
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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