Organic Rules and Certification

Livestock management, tethering - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005

Padel, Susanne and Lowman, Steve (2005) Livestock management, tethering - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005. [Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91]

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Livestock must neither be housed permanently nor tethered for prolonged periods. Flooring in livestock houses must not have more than 50% slatted area. Permission is required for the tethering of animals for special circumstances such as for shows, welfare, safety or for short periods. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 10.12.4 and 10.12.5.


Soil Association standards omit certain derogations permitted within EU Regulation. EU Regulation allows a derogation for livestock enterprises with older buildings, which were designed for the housing of tethered cattle, to continue the practice of tethering until the end of 2010, providing that certain conditions be met regarding the animals welfare. EU Regulation has a further derogation that allows cattle in small holdings, where they cannot be kept in groups appropriate to their behaviour requirements, to be tethered with access to open areas only twice per week. Soil Association standards do not allow any prolonged tethering, and require their permission to be sought even for tethering for short periods or for welfare or safety purposes. In omitting the derogation for tethering in older buildings, Soil Association standards comply with the UK Compendium of Organic Standards, Annex 1B, Paragraph 6.1.5, but the UK Compendium, Annex 1B, Paragraph 6.1.6 includes the derogation for smallholdings, which Soil Association standards do not.


Cattle are rarely kept tethered in UK smallholdings, and buildings have not been designed for tethering, so there is no need for the Soil Association to provide similar derogations to the EU Regulation. However, some flexibility is provided requiring permission for tethering in certain circumstances.

EU Regulation

Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing > B.Livestock and livestock products - Annex I B > Animal husbandry, management, transport, identification of livestock products/slaughter - Annex I B6

Item type:Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91
Subjects:Animal husbandry > Animal housing
Animal husbandry
Country/Standard: Europe > UK > Soil Association Organic Standards
Principles:Principle of fairness
Principle of health
ID Code:178
Deposited On:20 Nov 2005
Last Modified:24 Nov 2008 08:19

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