Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Animal husbandry
      • Breeding techniques
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal breeding, general requirements - Int. Codex Alimentarius Guidelines 2005 The choice of breeds, strains and breeding methods shall be consistent with the principles of organic farming. CODEX does not list acceptable breeding techniques but leaves it to a very general wording of adapted breeding methods, while the EU Regulation 2092/91 more clearly excludes certain breeding techniques. No justification was available.
Animal breeding, longevity - DE Bioland 2005
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Longevity has to be taken into account for breeding purposes and especially in the case of animals for milk production. Only animal breeds appropriate to the animal husbandry systems practised in organic farming should be used. Breeding should not be based on the purchase of animals from conventional origin and breeding and breeding animals (to be purchased) should not originate from embryo transfer. (Bioland production standards, 4.7 Animal breeding, 4.7.1 General; Bioland production standards, 4.7 Animal breeding, 4.7.2 Origin of animals for breeding -purposes
The BIOLAND standard has further requirements to the EU Regulation 2092/91. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not refer to longevity as a breeding aim and the suitability of the animals to organic farming systems. However the adaptation to the environment is to be considered. There are no details within the EU Standards about the use of conventional animals / animals originating from embryo transfer in breeding programmes. To enhance the breeding of animals appropriate to organic farming and increase independency from conventional strains.
Animal breeding, pigs - AT Bio Austria Special Market Rules 2006
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Only pigs which are resistant to stress (with proved NN status) may be used for breeding piglets. This must be recorded and proved.
The BA Special Market Rules 2006 are more detailed than the EU Regulation. EU Regulation 2092/91 point 3.1 of annex I B has only a general statement that for intensive livestock breeds with typical diseases or health problems (e.g. stress-syndrome) should be avoided. The main reason for the rule is a better quality assurance to create high confidence by consumers.
Animals breeding, birth - SE KRAV 2006
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Animals shall be given the opportunity to be alone during giving birth and laying eggs. Cows shall be allowed to calve alone and may only in exceptional cases be tethered. Indoor calving shall take place in a calving box. Sows shall farrow alone and farrowing may take place in a farrowing hut or if indoors in a separate space with sufficient freedom and space. There shall be enough nesting material for sows (KRAV standards paragraph 5.2.1, 5.2.2 and 5.2.3).
Specific conditions for cows and pigs giving birth is not covered in EU Regulation 2092/91. Animal welfare is one of the most important areas of organic production. Conditions in some conventional systems are far from providing animals the possibility of giving birth in a more natural and undisturbed way. Therefore it is important to clearly express this in organic standards.
Beekeeping, reproduction - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 It is prohibited to clip the wings of the queen bee or to use artificial insemination in beekeeping. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 15.2.8. Soil Association standards prohibit the use of artificial (instrumental) insemination in bee keeping. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not include this prohibition. The precautionary principle argues against pervasive use of instrumental insemination because the long-term consequences are unpredictable. Instrumental insemination of queen bees may reduce the diversity of the gene pool among honeybees as it involves the male spermatozoa of only one male rather than of 10 to 20 males in natural queen bee fertilisation. Traits may be selected for, such as productivity or resistance to specific diseases, but other useful traits could be lost.
Slaughter and livestock husbandry - US NOP 2002 US has no specific provisions for husbandry practices and slaughter. EU Regulation 2092/91 allows artificial insemination but not embryo transfer. US does not address this however the use of hormones in the absence of illness in the US is not allowed. EU does not allow operations such as dehorning, cutting of teeth and other to be carried out systematically. EU defines minimum age for slaughter of poultry. US does not address this. No justification was available.