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Challenges for avoiding and handling disease problems in organic herds

Kijlstra, Prof. Dr. Aize (2006) Challenges for avoiding and handling disease problems in organic herds. Paper at: Joint Organic Congress, Odense, Denmark, May 30-31, 2006.

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Disease prevention in organic farming is based on the principles that an animal that is allowed to exhibit natural behaviour, that is not subjected to stress and that is fed optimal (organic) feed, will have a higher ability to cope with infectious insults than animals reared in a conventional manner. Less treatments would thus be necessary and if an animal would become diseased, alternative treatments instead of conventional drugs should be preferred. Homeopathy or phytotherapy are recommended according to the prevailing regulations. The presumptions mentioned above have not yet been substantiated by scientific evidence. No data are available showing that disease prevalence of animals held under organic conditions is lower than under conventional conditions. Furthermore, to date, no proper scientific evidence is available concerning the efficacy of homeopathic remedies in farm animals. Only few reports are available concerning the use of phytotherapy in the management of sick animals. At present consumers are ignorant about these issues, but one should be aware of the fact that the postponing of proper treatment to a diseased animal may cause a severe negative impact on the “consumer” image of organic livestock production.
Important health problems in organic farming are often related to the outdoor access of the animals. Due to the availability of an outdoor area the animals are confronted with various viral, bacterial and parasitic infections of which some may influence the animals own welfare but others may also endanger the health of the conventional livestock (Avian Influenza) or pose a food safety (Campylobacter, Toxoplasma) problem to the consumer.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2006: Joint Organic Congress > Theme 8: Animal health and disease handling
European Union > QualityLowInputFood > Subproject 4: Livestock production systems
Deposited By: Kijlstra, Prof. Dr. Aize
ID Code:7317
Deposited On:10 May 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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