Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Animal husbandry
      • Slaughter
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Meat, tenderising methods - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 The use of tenderising substances on live animals is prohibited. Electrical tenderisation of meat may be used with Soil Association permission. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 42.8.7 and 42.10.6. Soil Association standards are more detailed than EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards prohibit the use of tenderising substances on live animals, but they allow the use of electrical tenderisation of meat, with their permission. EU Regulation does not refer to procedures for the tenderisation of meat. Introduction of tenderising enzymes into the vascular systems of animals before slaughter is an invasive technique with potential welfare problems.
Slaughter, general requirements - SE KRAV Standards 2006
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The standards for slaughter of animals are detailed standards on how animals should be transported, kept in the lairage, stunned and slaughtered. Groups of animals are not allowed to be mixed with for them unknown animals. The slaughter of the animals should normally take place on the same day as arrival to the slaughterhouse. The waiting animals should have access to water and for animals kept more than 4 hours access to roughage and bedded lying areas. The movement of animals within the slaughterhouse should be without physical violence and electric pods are not allowed. Animals should be checked individually for successful stunning and bleeding to death should occur without the awareness of unstunned animals. Each animal should be checked to ensure that it is dead. (KRAV Standards Chapter 10).
KRAV standards are more detailed and have additional requirements to the EU Regulation 2092/91. The EU Regulation states that the slaughter must be handled in such a way that stress to the animals is reduced to a minimum. Animal welfare in all parts of an animals life and on the way death is seen to be very important by all stakeholders involved; producers, handlers, traders, supermarkets, NGOs and consumers.
Slaughter, minimum age - FR Regulation 2000
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Minimum age at slaughter is defined for each species of poultry (81 days for chickens, etc.)
Minimum age at slaughter is the same for every strain of poultry, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require this minimum age if the farmer uses slow growing strains. By definition, slow growing strains mature after the other strains. There is absolutely no reason to slaughter them before the others. Plus 81 days is the minmum age for slaughter of chickens under the Label Rouge, the French conventional quality standard.
Slaughter, minimum age - UK Compendium 2005 The minimum ages for slaughter of various classes of poultry are specified, with an exception allowed in the case of slow growing strains. Capons are included in the list in the EU Regulation 2092/91 but not in UK Compendium. Capons are omitted from the list in the UK Compendium, to avoid redundancy of information, because this class of poultry is not reared in UK due to the requirement for a vet for the castration process.
Slaughter, minimum age, pigs - FR Regulation 2000
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Minimum age of slaughter for pigs is 182 days.
French regulation defines a minimum age at slaughter for pigs. There is no such obligation in the EU Regulation 2092/91. The aim is to avoid organic pigs with poor meat quaity. 182 days is the minimum age for slaughter of pigs under Label Rouge, the French conventional quality standard.
Slaughter, minimum age, poultry - CH Bio Suisse Standards 2005 Minimal age for broilers at the day of slaughter is 63 days. EU Regulation is more detailled than BIO SUISSE. BIO SUISSE sets limits only for broilers, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 adds limits for all kinds of fowl. Furthermore BIO SUISSE accepts an age of 63 days for broilers, whereas the EU Regulation requires 81 days for chicken as minimal age at slaughter. Among fowl, only broilers are kept on an an economic scale in Switzerland. Consequently BIO SUISSE has no regulation for other fowl. For broilers the minimum age for slaughter is 63 days due to the lack of market demand for heavier animals. Too quick growth infringes the healthy development of the sceleton and the behaviour of fowl. A sound growth of animals is an ethological requirement in organic farming.
Slaughter, stunning, general requirements - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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It is prohibited to slaughter animals without pre-stunning. There are a series of detailed rules to specify how animals are stunned and killed. Equipment must have an effective cleaning and maintenance schedule. Staff must be suitably trained and qualified. There must be adequate back-up equipment. Tenderising substances must not be used on live animals. Animals must be effectively restrained without causing injury or distress, and only immediately before stunning or killing. Animals, except poultry, must be effectively stunned before shackling and hoisting. The stunning process must render the animal unconscious without distress and maintain unconsciousness until the animal is dead. There are a series of detailed specifications for the various methods of stunning that are permitted for each different class of livestock, together with the minimum stun-to-bleed times in each case. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Subsection 42.8.)
Soil Association standards are more detailled than EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards prohibit the slaughter of animals without pre-stunning. There are detailed maximum times between stunning and bleeding of animals. EU Regulation states only that the slaughtering process must be conducted so that the stress to the animals is reduced to a minimum. Soil Association standards are intended to ensure that the animal welfare problems associated with slaughtering processes are minimised. They specify a set of required conditions, along with stunning and killing methods available in UK, that should involve the least risk of distress for the animals.
Slaughter, stunning, methods - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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There are a number of permitted methods of stunning, killing and slaughtering specified for different classes of livestock. Only pigs may be stunned using carbon dioxide, and Soil Association permission is required for this. The operation of the carbon dioxide stunning system is subject to a number of specified conditions. The operation of the carbon dioxide system must be constantly monitored by a specifically trained, licensed slaughterman, and pigs must be killed by the gas and bled as soon as possible. The carbon dioxide system must include back-up equipment for use in case of failure. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 42.8.8-42.8.15 and 42.9.12-42.9.14.)
Soil Association Standards are more specific than the EU Regulation 2092/91. Soil Association standards require that carbon dioxide must not be used to stun any animal apart from pigs, and permission must be gained for its use with pigs. EU Regulation does not contain any prohibition or other reference to the use of carbon dioxide for stunning. Carbon dioxide stunning may cause distress to animals in the stunning process. The stunning is not instant and may cause respiratory distress. Susceptibility to distress is affected by pig breed and other variables, so the Soil Association would require to know all the relevant details to decide on any permission for use of carbon dioxide in pig slaughter.
Transport of livestock, before slaughter - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005 Transport should be careful and with respect: Stress, fear and pain should be avoided as much as possible. Transport may not last longer than 6 hours (Swiss animal law, Sept. 2005) Swiss Ordinance limits the duration of transport to not more than 6 hours. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not specify the maximum duration for transport. Transport to slaughter is a major stress for the animals, even more so if it is combined with animals from other farms. By restricting its duration to a minimal time, this stress can be reduced.
Transport of livestock, general requirements - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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Transport should be careful and with respect, stress, fear and pain should be avoided as much as possible. Duration of transport is limited to not more than 6 hours (by Swiss Governmental Ordinance).
DEMETER has to respect the Swiss Ordinance which rules, that transport may not last longer than 6 hours. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not rule the maximum duration of transport but also refers to relevant national and Community legislation in force. By shortening the time span for transport, stress and pain can be minimized.
Transport of livestock, general requirements - CZ KEZ Standards 2005
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The KEZ standards have detailed rules for animal transport. There are specified factors, which always have to be kept in mind: age, sex, behaviour of animals, environmental conditions (temperature, humidity), physiological requirements, duration of transport. It is preferable to transport carcasses rather than live animals. (KEZ Standards, Part 2, 12.1).
As EU Regulation 2092/91 (Annex I/B6.2) the KEZ makes an effort to prevent stress of transported animals; however KEZ is more detailed with regard to the prevention of it. The standard-setting body could not give a justification.
Transport of livestock, general requirements - DE Bioland 2005
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Short distances for animal transport or transporting carcsses should be preferred. The transport to the slaughter house may not exceed 200 km or 4 hours (exceptions can be admitted by BIOLAND). The animals may not be driven by means of striking instruments or electric devices. Animals must be given sufficient water before and during transport. The animals should not starved for long periods before slaughtering. Specific indications are given for transport of ruminants, pigs and poultry (i.e.: aeration of transport vehicles, milking before transport, separate transport of male and female animals, transporting in the dark) (Bioland production standards, 4.3.3 Transport and slaughter, 4.3.3.1 General; Bioland production standards, 4.3.3 Transport and slaughter, 4.3.3.2 Transport of the animals for slaughter)
The BIOLAND standard is more detailed than the EU Regulation 2092/91 by limiting the distance and duration of transport to the slaughterhouse, and prohibiting the use of any striking instruments. Indications for certain types on animals are not given. According to the EU Regulation stress for the animals has to be avoided during transport, driving animals with electrical devices is prohibited as well as the use of allopathic traquilisers. Within the EU Regulation nothing is mentioned about the distance or duration of transport, but it is stated, that the legal provisions of the member EU states have to be complied with. In order to contribute to the well-being of the animals (the individual needs of the species have to be considered!) and avoid suffering.