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Current use of contentious inputs in European organic animal production

Athanasiadou, S.; Chylinski, C.; Moeskops, B.; Michie, D.; Experton, C.; Steinshamn, H.; Leiber, F. and Maurer, V. (2021) Current use of contentious inputs in European organic animal production. In: Book of Abstracts of the 72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Sciences. Davos, Switzerland. 30 August - 3 September 2021, Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, no. 27, p. 487.

[thumbnail of Athanasiadou-etal-2021-EAAPBookofAbstracts-Vol27-p487.pdf] PDF - English


Contentious inputs are used by organic farmers to maintain production sustainability and high standards in animal health and welfare. Their implementation has detrimental impact on the environment and present a risk for the development of the organic sector. Information regarding the application of contentious inputs is not available at the European scale and it is a prerequisite to devise and implement roadmaps to phase them out. This work aimed to determine the extent to which antibiotics, anthelmintics and synthetic vitamins are currently used in organic livestock and to highlight differences in their controlled use. A multi-dimensional approach, incorporating: (1) literature reviews; (2) Europe-wide surveys or interviews of organic experts; (3) analysis of publicly available research data; and (4) national and international authorities (veterinary and agricultural organisations) was followed to quantify the current use and need of contentious inputs in European organic animal production. Overall, there was considerable variation in the use of anthelmintics and antibiotics reflecting country-specific differences in the level of pathogen threat and control. Estimates suggest that overall anthelmintic treatments do not exceed one treatment per animal per year in organic farms, although exceptions were noted. Extrapolated calculations indicate that on average 0.7 antibiotic treatments per animal per year are input in organic livestock systems. Dosages of synthetic vitamins are highly standardized, and decisions are made in the premix producing industry rather than on the farms. With few exceptions there are no differences between conventional and organic practice regarding dosage. Research-based background for organic-specific recommendations is therefore needed. The results provide the first benchmark on patterns of contentious input uses in organic livestock farming across Europe. Funded by EU H2020 No 773431 – RELACS.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:sustainability, animal welfare, animal health, livestock, organic farming, Abacus, FiBL25054, RELACS
Agrovoc keywords:
animal welfare
animal health
organic farming -> organic agriculture
Subjects: Animal husbandry
Values, standards and certification > Evaluation of inputs
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > RELACS
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal health
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal welfare & housing
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Quality assurance > Inputs
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:773431
Deposited By: Maurer, Dr. Veronika
ID Code:43294
Deposited On:13 Jan 2022 10:30
Last Modified:24 Aug 2022 09:01
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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