Organic Rules and Certification

Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - Demeter International 2005

Huber, Beate (2006) Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - Demeter International 2005. [Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91]

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Dehorning of animals and dehorned animals are not permitted on the farm. In well-justified cases, an exemption may be approved by the respective organisation but must be reviewed annually . (DI production standards, 5.4.1. Cattle management; DI production standards, Appendix 7, APP 9)


The DI standard is more demanding but less detailed. The EU Regulation is more precisely indicating the circumstances of dehorning: According to the EU Regulation 2092/91 systematic dehorning of animals is not allowed but can be done for a couple of reasons (security, health, animal welfare or hygiene) and under certain conditions (done by qualified personnel and at an appropriate age of the animal). Furthermore EU Regulation does not prohibit the presence of dehorned animals on the farm. In practice (in Germany) very few cases for the dehorning of single animals have been approved on Demeter farms, while regular dehorning of cattle is common on organic farms.


The horns of ruminants have significance for the development of life forces. They provide an opposing balance of forces to the intensive digestion and absorption processes. They are a part of the total being of the cow. In comparison to other animal types, cattle manure has a particularly stimulating effect on soil fertility. The horns also have a large significance as a sheath in the production of the Biodynamic preparations.

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 health management
Animal husbandry
Country/Standard:Demeter International Standard
Principles:Principle of fairness
Principle of health
ID Code:571
Deposited On:17 Mar 2006
Last Modified:16 Apr 2010 13:00

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