Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Animal husbandry
      • Outdoor access
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal fodder, roughage requirement, grazing - SE KRAV 2006
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Grazing should constitute at least 50% of the dry matter for ruminants (during the grazing season). For dairy animals and bullocks a somewhat lower proportion can be allowed for shorter periods but as a minimum half or the roughage should be from grazing. Pigs and poultry should have the possibility to graze, providing both feed and opportunity for activity. Stud bulls may be kept in outdoor runs but during the grazing period they should have access to fresh grass (KRAV standards paragraph 5.3.13 and 5.3.14).
The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require grazing for pigs or poultry. For herbivores it is required in paragraph 4.7 that rearing systems for herbivores are to be based on maximum use of pasturage. All animals, including pigs and poultry graze. For poultry though it might not be such an important part of the diet, activity it is very important. Sweden has a lot of land for grazing and it is important that these areas are used, also from a biodiversity perspective.
Free range conditions, access - Int. Codex Alimentarius Guidelines 2005
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Codex Alimentarius in general requires free range conditions for all animals, but also accepts that animals are confined for temporarily restricted times and certain reasons.
The EU Regulation 2092/91 requires specific minimal sizes of free range areas as well as indoor housing areas for different animal species. Codex Alimentarius does not set figures for this area. Codex Alimentarius Guidelines is a guidance for governments. Therefore making detailed rules for indoor and outdoor areas on a world-wide level was not seen as appropriate.
Free range conditions, access - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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Interpretation of EU Regulation 2092/91 for the climate of Austria: All animals must have access to pasture or at least an open-air exercise yard on at least 180 days a year, distributed throughout the year. Cattle kept in tethering systems must have outdoor access either 180 days distributed throughout the year or, in addition to the ANI (TGI), at least once a week. (BA-Rules 2006 chapter 3.9, 3.10.5, 3.11.3, 3.11.4, 3.12.7, 3.13.2, 3.14.3, 3.15.3)
The Bio Austria General Standard is more detailed than the EU Regulation 2092/91 as it is a specification for orientation which has to be fulfilled. Just specification for orientation; definition of an absolutely minimum requirement under unfavourable circumstances.
Free range conditions, access - CH Bio Suisse Standards 2005 Swiss ordinance Program for regular free-range of livestock must be met, which requires extended free range on pasture. While Bio Suisse follows a set minimal number of days per month for animals to be at pasture, EU Regulation 2092/91 requires access to pasture in a general manner. Furthermore access to outdoor run is also mandatory in winter time according to Bio Suisse. From an ethological point of view regular access to outdoor areas is seen as essential need for livestock.
Free range conditions, access - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
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The Swiss Ordinance on animal friendly husbandry defines the rules for organic farms in detail. Minimal hours and minimal amount of days for access to outdoor runs are required, further more minimal area per animal category are defined. Also in winter time access to the outdoors must be provided.
Swiss Ordinance requires bigger outdoor areas than the EU Regulation 2092/91 does. Equine 9 + 0,7 per 100 kg (EU only 3.7m2), Sheep and goats 4 m2 (EU only 2.5m2), Bovine /example adult female: 12 m2 (EU only 4.5 m2). The Swiss Ordinance furthermore requires access to outdoor runs in winter time, whereas EU Regulation does not. In order to support behavioural needs of animals and the rank dynamic in groups, outdoor runs must be big enough. If of insufficient size animals will not use these areas on a regular basis or fights for rank order will become dangerous for the animals due to lack of space.
Free range conditions, access - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
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On at least 26 days per month during vegetation period and on 13 days per month in winter time animals must have access to the outdoors and pasture.
While Swiss Ordinance rules the minimal number of days per month of access to pasture or outdoor run in detail, the EU Regulation 2092/91 leaves it to a general principle, not fixing a minimal number of days for outdoor access and not requiring outdoor access during winter time (if pasture was used in summer). From an ethological point of view regular access to the outdoor area is seen as an essential need of farm animals throughout the year.
Free range conditions, access - SI BIODAR Standards
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SI BIODAR standards require that the animals have access to free-range, open-air exercise areas or open-air runs for a minimum of 200 days/year distributed evenly throughout all the seasons (4.10.4) or at least once a week if the farm is fulfilling the animal needs index by Bartussek.
SI BIODAR standards require that animals have access to free-range, open-air exercise areas or open-air runs for a specified minimum number of days/year.the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not specify the minimum time (Annex I. B. 8.). The provision should ensure that the farmer provides the animals with enough outside exercise especially in the winter-time.
Free range conditions, access - SI Rules 2003
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SI Rules state that for the assessment of animals' well-being, the animal needs index by Bartussek should be used (Art. 25). SI Rules require that bulls over 1 year have access to pasture, an open-air exercise area or an open-air run and that they are separated from the rest of the herd except for the purposes of natural insemination (Art. 21)
SI Rules 2003 foresee a use of animal needs index whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not. Another additional requirement in SI Rules is the separation of bulls in free range areas, whereas EU Regulation does not specify this. The animal needs index by Bartussek has been used in the private standards before the national rules were published. They have proved to be an useful instrument for assessing the animal welfare conditions on individual units.
Free range conditions, access to soil, piglets - SE KRAV 2006
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Piglets should have access to soil the year around (KRAV standards paragraph 5.3.24).
This is not covered in EU Regulation 2092/91. Piglets intake required amounts of iron from the soil. This is more natural then feed minerals.
Free range conditions, access to water - DE Bioland 2005
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Water fowl have to have access at all times to running streams, ponds or lakes (only if hygienic conditions and water protection acts permit it) or to a durable water surface that is replaced regularly by fresh water. (Bioland production standards, 4.2.5. Poultry, 4.2.5.3 Poultry for fattening, 4.2.5.3.4 Water surfaces)
The BIOLAND standard is simliar to the EU Regulation 2092/91, however according to EU Regulation this requirement can be suspended with a derogation until 2010. To enable the animals to execute their natural behaviour.
Free range conditions, access, pigs - AT Bio Austria Special Market Rules 2006
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Pigs for fattening must always have access to exercise yards.
The BA Special Market Rules 2006 contain further requirements with regard to the outdoor access. Permanent and daily outdoor access is not required under EU Regulation 2092/91 (annex I B 8.3.8.). There is an exemption in annex I B 8.5.1 for buildings existing before 1999 until the year 2010. This exemption according to 8.5.1 of annex I B can not be granted. The main reason for reduction is to create high confidence by consumers. Another reason is that the permanent outdoor access is seen as better for animal health.
Free range conditions, access, poultry - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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Outdoor access areas for laying hens must be within a radius of 150 m of the poultry barn. This regulation applies to all barns built since 23 April, 2001. (BA-Rules 2006 chapter 3.13.2)
The Bio Austria General Standard is more detailed than the EU Regulation 2092/91, which defines the amount of the area but not the shape of the outdoor access. The shape is very important for adequate use of the outdoor access. Principle of animal welfare and health; protection of the environment, commitment to consumer expectations Studies performed in different European countries have shown that laying hens mainly use the area the immediately around the hen house. Areas beyond 150m are hardly used at all. As hens do not distribute themselves evenly throughout the hen run more distant areas would mean an increase of stocking density. This would lead in the remaining part to an increase of nutrients and increase the risk of infections.
Free range conditions, access, poultry - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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DEMETER requires permanent access to out-door excercise or a "wintergarden" (covered area with outdoor climate). For poultry the plots for outdoor run must be switched periodically (for sanitary reasons).
DEMETER is more detailed than the EU Regulation 2092/91. EU Regulation requires permanent access to out-door exercise for poultry, at least during 1/3 or their lifetime. The requied area is 4m2 per laying hen as outdoor run ( DEMETER requires 5m2). Permanent access to an ourdoor run is considered as an essential need for farm animals. Periodic changing/switching the outdoor area reduces risks of parasites.
Free range conditions, access, poultry - DE Naturland 2005
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Outdoor areas must be accessible for laying hens at all time of the year. (NL standards on production, Part B.II.1.5.1 Laying hens)
The NATURLAND standard is more detailed. The hens must have access to a (covered) outdoor climate area even in bad weather conditions. The EU Regulation 2092/91 requires an outdoor area to be accessible under suitable weather conditions and for at least one third of the hens lifetime. To ensure exposure to outdoor climate even in bad weather conditions and to help the animals to become robust.
Free range conditions, access, poultry - FR Regulation 2000
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Table poultry must have free access to an open-air run for part of the day and for at least half their life. Laying hens must have access to an open-air run for the major part of the day and by no later than their 28th week.
French regulation requires that table poultry have free access to an open-air run for at least half of their life, and laying hens by no later than their 28th week, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 requires that poultry have open-air access for at least one third of their life. Organic poultry should have as much access as possible to open-air range. Furthermore, the earlier this begins, the better poultry can cope with outdoor access.
Free range conditions, access, ruminants - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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During vegetation season all animals must have daily access to free range (pasture and or coral). During winter time exceptions for ruminants are possible: ruminants must have access to free range on at least 13 days of each month.
While DEMETER follows a set minimal number of days for animals to be at pasture, which is based on an ordinance and payment scheme of the Swiss Government for outdoor access. The EU Regulation 2092/91 requires access to pasture in a general manner, and in winter time access to outdoor run is not mandatory. The minimal size for outdoor runs required by DEMETER is larger than the size defined by the EU Regulation. From a ethological point of view an almost daily but at least regular access to an outdoor area is seen as essential need for farm animals.
Free range conditions, general requirements - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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Interpretation of EU Regulation for the climate of Austria: All animals must have access to pasture or at least an open-air exercise yard on at least 180 days a year, distributed throughout the year. Cattle kept in tethering systems must have outside access either 180 days distributed throughout the year or, in addition to the ANI (TGI), at least once a week.
The Bio Austria General Standard specifies minimal requirements for outdoor access therefore is more detailed than the EU Regulation 2092/91. Just specification for orientation; definition of an absolutely minimum requirement under unfavourable circumstances.
Free range conditions, pigs - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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All pigs for mast must always have access to exercise yards.
The BA Special Market Rules 2006 have more requirements with regard to outdoor access. Permanent and daily outdoor access is not required in EU Regulation 2092/91 (annex I B 8.3.8.). There is an exemption in annex I B 8.5.1 for existing buildings before 1999 until the year 2010. This exemption according to 8.5.1 of annex I B cannot be granted. The main reason for reduction is to create high consumer confidence. Another reason is that the permanent outdoor access is considered to be better for animal health.
Livestock housing and free range conditions, general requirements, poultry - NL Skal Standards 2005
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SKAL has set norms for poultry, concerning extension, space per animal, equipment, stocking rates. SKAL Rule Text: 2.4 article 1,2,3,4, 6 and 16: 8 week old hens must go outside, unless winter temperatures, with enough room to range freely and take a sandbath (2.5 m² per chicken). Only 7 young hens per m² stable are allowed. Shrubs and trees have to be present in the outdoor area. Per m² stable only 5 nests are allowed. 50% must be free-range area with dry bedding. Each hen must have 20 cm of perch. 1 nest per 6 hens must be available.
SKAL standards are more detailled compared to EU Regulation 2092/91. SKAL requires shrubs and trees to be present in the outdoor area and has further restrictions on animals per m² stable, on nests and perch space. EU is more general on open air runs (not specified for poultry) and is defining only the animlas per m² indoors and outdoors. All animals need enough space and outdoor areas for natural behaviour.
Livestock housing and free range conditions, general requirements, poultry - NL Skal Standards 2005
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SKAL has set specific norms for meat pullets. see SKAL Rule Text: 2.5 article 2 and 3: Pullets must have 1,5 m² per pullet outdoor area. 50% of the outdoor area must be covered with shrubs and trees. The total number of animals allowed per m² is 28 till the age of 2 weeks, 14 till the age of 6 weeks, and 7 starting from the age of 6 weeks.
SKAL standards are more detailled compared to EU Regulation 2092/91. SKAL requires shrubs and trees to be present in the outdoor area and is grading the maximum number of animals per m² depending on the age of the animals. All animals need enough space and outdoor areas for natural behaviour.
Livestock housing, general requirements - US NOP 2002
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§ 205.239 Livestock living conditions. (a) The producer of an organic livestock operation must establish and maintain livestock living conditions which accommodate the health and natural behavior of animals, including: (1) Access to the outdoors (2) Access to pasture for ruminants (3) Appropriate clean, dry bedding. If the bedding is typically consumed by the animal species, it must comply with the feed requirements of § 205.237; (4) Shelter meeting the needs of animals (b) The producer of an organic livestock operation may provide temporary confinement for an animal under certain conditions
The detail of living condition standards differes between the US and the EU Regulation 2092/91. Both US and EU require outdoor access for any animals. US in addition requires pasture for ruminants, not allowing derogations, EU require pasture for herbivores 'wherever conditions allow'. EU waves outdoor access for herbivores in winter under certain conditions. EU allows tethering under specified conditions, US does not address tethering. US require bedding to meet feed requirements if is typically consumed by the animal species. EU does not address this. EU has detailed requirements for housing of poultry, US do not. EU defines minimum indoor and outdoor surface area and other characteristics of housing in the different species and types of production. No justification was available.
Livestock housing, grazing period - SE KRAV 2006
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The KRAV standards have specific standards on when animals can be kept inside even if the general provision is that animals should be outside whenever it is possible to keep them outside. Animals can be kept indoors in case of mating, insemination, giving birth, illness, insect attacks, and extreme weather conditions or before slaughter. Calves may be kept inside during the period of milk feeding. Sows may be kept indoors for maximum a month for mating/insemination, if kept inside for more then a week they shall have access to an outdoor run. Bulls are not allowed to keep inside if they are not going to be sent for slaughter in the near future. The producer shall document all animals kept indoors. (KRAV standards paragraph 5.2.4).
The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not specify when and for how long animals can be kept inside during the grazing period. In Annex 1 paragraph 8.3.1 states that mammals shall be outside whenever the physiological condition of the animal, the weather conditions and the state of the ground permit. In paragraph 8.3.4 it is a derogation to keep cattle, pigs and sheep for meat production inside during the final fattening stage, which can be maximum one fifth of the lifetime and not over three months. KRAV have more specific standards on when and how animals can be kept inside during the grazing period, the EU Regulation is much more general. From experience it is known there is always a risk that some animals are kept inside for too long time. KRAV standards disallow keeping animals inside during the final fattening stage. It is so important that animals are outside in the summer that this is seen as more important, it should also be possible to manage the animals outside even if coming closer to slaughter.
Livestock housing, rearing, fattening - NO Governmnetal Regulation 2005
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Indoor fattening is only allowed for slaughter pigs, not for cattle and sheep.
The derogation Annex I B, paragraph 8.3.4 of the EU Regulation 2092/91 is only applicable to slaughter pigs. The Norwegion Governmental regulation does not allow indoor fattening for cattle and sheep as the EU Regulation does. Indoor fattening should be restricted for animal welfare considerations. There is no tradition for indoor fattening of cattle and sheep in Norway.
Livestock housing, rest periods, poultry - NO Governmental Regulation 2005
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Poultry runs should have a rest period of a minimum 3 months between batches of poultry (ref. Annex IB, Paragraph 8.4.6)
The EU Regulation 2092/91 leaves the precise rest period for poultry runs between batches of poultry to be decided by member states, in Norway this is 3 months. The European Regulation leaves the precise rest period between batches for organic poultry runs to be decided by member states.
Livestock housing, zero grazing - UK Soil Association 2005 Zero grazing systems are not permitted for cattle. (Zero grazing means feeding freshly cut forage to housed animals). Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 11.3.5. Soil Association standards are more precise than EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association Standards prohibit zero grazing for cattle. Zero grazing is not specifically prohibited in the EU Regulation, but it states, "Herbivores must have access to pasturage whenever conditions allow." The Soil Association rule is a clear prohibition while the EU Regulation is not. The Soil Association rule aims to be clear and unambiguous in prohibiting zero grazing systems. Although the EU Regulation may imply such a prohibition, it could be open to other interpretations in certain situations. The prohibition of zero grazing systems encourages producers to maximise cattle's access to pasture.
Livestock management, tethering - Nature et Progrès Standards 2002
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Certain kinds of indoor tethering are forbidden. It must not be too tight : the animal must still be able to make certain movements. For example, "dutch" tethering system is not allowed.
Nature et Progrès standards forbid certain kind of tethering, whereas the EU does not differentiate between different kinds of tethering. Certain kinds of tethering are not compatible with animal welfare.