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Review of the regulations concerning organic dairy calf rearing in seven European countries

Grundin, Johanna; Eriksson, Hanna; Fall, Nils; Knierim, Ute; Ivemeyer, Silvia; Simantke, Christel; Bieber, Anna; Spengler Neff, Anet; Fuerst-Waltl, Birgit; Winckler, Christoph; Martin, Bruno; Pomiès, D.; Coccamo, Margerita; Priolo, Alessandro; Sakowski, Tomasz and Alvåsen, Karin (2019) Review of the regulations concerning organic dairy calf rearing in seven European countries. , Uppsala.

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[thumbnail of PYS report WP1.2_final.pdf] PDF - English


This review constitutes a part of the Core Organic project ‘ProYoungStock’ – Promoting young stock and cow health and welfare by natural feeding systems. The overarching aim of the project is to improve young stock rearing systems concerning animal welfare-friendly husbandry, feeding and disease prevention by identifying approaches on different levels. More natural rearing systems are one approach to solve welfare problems in current calf rearing. Previous studies have shown considerable variations in herd characteristics and management strategies between organic dairy farms in Europe. The differences have been associated with regional and national conditions for organic farming. However, it is possible that differences in national legislation also play a part in these variations. Relevant EU and national rules on organic production and animal welfare were compiled in the following seven European countries: Sweden (SE), France (FR), Poland (PL), Germany (DE), Italy (IT), Austria (AT), and Switzerland (CH). The purpose was to provide information on drivers and barriers for cow-calf contact systems in organic dairy production and to identify possible areas for improvement and/or harmonization. Our results did not identify any major barriers in national rules for the use of rearing systems allowing cow-calf contact. Instead, cow-calf contact is promoted by the requirement to feed organic calves preferably maternal milk during the first three months of their life. Specifications regarding calf rearing derives from animal protection legislation rather than regulations of organic farming but milk hygiene regulations can also have an influence on practicability of cow-calf contact. Variations in national legislation can affect details of design and implementation of cow-calf systems, however, other factors (e.g. overall conditions for organic dairy farming, traditions, economics and disease prevention strategies) rather than regulations likely play more important roles.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:Organic dairy production, EU regulation, national legislation, calf rearing, natural feeding systems, animal welfare
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
"Organics" in general
Farming Systems
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Cofund > ProYoungStock
Austria > Univ. BOKU Wien
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland
Italy > Univ. Catania
Sweden > Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
Germany > University of Kassel
H2020 or FP7 Grant Agreement Number:727495
Deposited By: Alvåsen, Dr Karin
ID Code:39785
Deposited On:30 Apr 2021 05:39
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 09:05
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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