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Enhancing animal health security and food safety in organic livestock production

Vaarst, Mette (2005) Enhancing animal health security and food safety in organic livestock production. 3rd SAFO Workshop, Falenty, Poland, 16-18 September 2004.

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Sustaining Animal Health and Food Safety in Organic Farming (SAFO) is a European Commission funded project, with the objective to contribute to improved animal health and food safety in organic livestock production systems in existing and candidate member countries of the European Union. Workshops form a central part of the SAFO ctivities. This volume, with the contributions from the 3rd SAFO Workshop at the Institute of Grassland and Wetlands in Falenty, Poland in September 2004, is one in a series of five proceedings published during the lifetime of the project (2003-2006). Electronic versions of the proceedings are available at the SAFO web-site at ttp://www.safonetwork.org/
Animal health security, the role of zoonotic diseases and the risk of environmental contaminants in organic livestock produce were the key issues discussed in Falenty. Allowing livestock access to outdoors is a fundamental principle in organic farming. Such access is seen as part of the animal’s freedom to natural behaviour and can be argued to offer substantial health benefits to animals. Outdoor access, however, also allows access to potential invironmental contaminants, contact with other livestock or wildlife with different disease status and with vectors and fomites that may be carriers of zoonotic diseases. Interesting research papers were presented on the level of toxoplasmosis in organic pigs, paratuberculosis in organic cattle and campylobacterial carriage in organic layers. Mycotoxin and dioxin contamination of organic livestock produce and the control of heavy metal contamination in organic systems were also discussed. The papers and the discussions at the workshop suggest that the link between higher risk for zoonoses and environmental contamination and outdoor access and other organic management practices is not a straightforward one and that the risks are not necessarily greater in organic systems. However, it is clear that monitoring of zoonoses and contaminants is just as important in the organic as in the conventional animal production context.
In this workshop, generous time was reserved for presentations about the development of organic livestock production in the new and emerging EU countries. A wealth of information about the strides forward and the problems and difficulties encountered was produced by the delegates. The presentations highlighted barriers to such development including the lack of a domestic market for organic produce and, at the farm level, the need for improvements in veterinary and hygiene management and for major investments to bring farm buildings up to the standards required in EU 2092/91. On the other hand, most of the new countries, while still developing organic livestock systems, see great potential in them, particularly in preserving rare breeds and vitalising rural communities in areas that appear particularly suitable for organic animal production.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Other
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
European Union > Animal Health and Food Safety SAFO
ISBN:07049 9850 5
Deposited By: Holme, Ms. Mette
ID Code:20776
Deposited On:24 Apr 2012 07:41
Last Modified:24 Apr 2012 07:41
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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