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Organic livestock systems: characteristics and challenges for improvement

Hermansen, J.E.; Kristensen, T. and Ronchi, B. (2005) Organic livestock systems: characteristics and challenges for improvement. Paper at: EAAP - 56th Annual Meeting, Uppsala, 5/6 - 8/6-2005.

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There is generally a growing interest for organically produced food in Europe and North America, although in some countries the interest is stagnating. Organic animal productions in some countries make up to 10% of total production. The development of organic farming is driven by a mutual interest among: farmers who are sceptical towards the methods of conventional farming or aim for possible premium prices; consumers perceiving the products to be safer; and authorities seeing organic farming as a tool to reduce environmental load of the livestock farming systems. Existing evidence shows that levels of production experienced in organic production are often moderately reduced compared to conventional production or in some cases considerable lower (piglets (per sow per year), broilers). The organic production methods include elements that may enhance animal welfare, but some animal health problems are highlighted in several species, such as endoparasitic diseases. Only small differences in global warming potential, but a reduced eutrophication potential, per unit of milk produced, may be expected in organic milk compared to conventional milk production. Major challenges for a further development of the organic livestock farming systems include a better understanding of the animal nutrition – animal health – genotype interactions, of the possible positive role of organically produced food in relation to human health, of ways to balance free range rearing with acceptable production control measures, and of the particular benefits organic livestock systems may have in rural development exploiting new types of production and marketing.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:livestock production
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > II. 9 (PIGSYS) New systems in organic pig production
Deposited By: Kirkegaard, Lene/LKI
ID Code:6095
Deposited On:11 Nov 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:31
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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