Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Animal husbandry
      • Veterinary treatment
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Animal fodder, synthetic vitamins - CZ KEZ Standards 2005 The use of synthetic vitamins is generally permitted, both for monogastric animals and for ruminants. (KEZ Standards, Part 2, 9.2). EU Regulation 2092/91 Annex II/D 1.2 allows the use of synthetic vitamins only for monogastric animals. The use of synthetic vitamins of types A, D and E for ruminants is allowed under limited conditions. KEZ Standards contain further requirements; they require recommendation from a veterinarian and permission of the certification body for their use in any case. The standard-setting body could not give a justification.
Animal health plan - UK Compendium 2005 After starting with a paragraph defining veterinary terms to be used in subsequent paragraphs, the UK Compendium then requires the preparation and implementation of a Livestock Health Plan, based on positive animal welfare and the building up of positive health to achieve a progressive reduction of disease risks. UK Compendium, Paragraph 5.1.1 contains definitions of terms in addition to the EU Regulation text. Paragraph 5.1.2 then refers to the principles of positive welfare and positive health, and requires a Livestock Health Plan to be drawn up, implemented and monitored. This plan should be designed to suit the individual circumstances of the farm, to build up levels of health as a means to reduce disease risks, and thus to progressively reduce the reliance on veterinary medication for disease control. EU Regulation 2092/91 contains no requirement for a livestock health plan. UK Compendium, Paragraph 5.1.3 is identical to EU Regulation, Paragraph 5.1. For organic livestock husbandry, animal health plans provide a standard means to: a) ensure compliance with organic standards, b) apply best practice and promote positive animal health, c) allow the monitoring of health indicators for a planned, progressive reduction in the use of allopathic treatments. They function as a management tool for farmers and herd managers, and a health and welfare evaluation tool for organic inspectors. This planned and monitored approach to animal health is seen as best practice in UK livestock husbandry. It contributes to the fulfilment and verification of the practices and positive outcomes of organic livestock husbandry.
Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - CH Regulation/Ordinance 2005
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Dehorning of adult ruminants may only occur for safety reasons and not in the months of May - August. Dehorning must be carried out under narcosis.
Swiss Ordinance is more detailed than the EU Regulation 2092/91: dehorning must be carried out by a veterinarian and under narcosis, while EU Regulation mentions only the dehorning of young animals, with a requirement to minimize the suffering of animals in general. Mutilations such as dehorning strongly interfere with the ethological well-being of the animal.They should only be done if absolutely necessary, if at all, and in the most gentle and careful way to avoid suffering of the animal.
Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - FI Governmenal Regulation on organic animal production 2000 Castration of pigs is forbidden after the age of 7 days. This standard is more precise than the EU Regulation 2092/91. Some of the treatments (attaching elastic bands to the tails of sheep, tail-docking, cutting of teeth, trimming of beaks) mentioned in Annex I B 6.1.2 are not allowed according to the Finnish animal protection law (396/1996):
Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - FI Governmenal Regulation on organic animal production 2000 Teeth grinding of male piglets is only allowed in the case of teat biting and until the age of 8 days. This standard is more precise than the EU Regulation 2092/91. Some of the treatments (attaching elastic bands to the tails of sheep, tail-docking, cutting of teeth, trimming of beaks) mentioned in Annex I B 6.1.2 are not allowed according to the Finnish animal protection law (396/1996.
Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - FI Governmenal Regulation on organic animal production 2000 De-horning of calves is forbidden after the age of 8 weeks. This standard is more precise than the EU Regulation 2092/91. Some of the treatments (attaching elastic bands to the tails of sheep, tail-docking, cutting of teeth, trimming of beaks) mentioned in Annex I B 6.1.2 are not allowed according to the Finnish animal protection law (396/1996.
Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - UK Compendium 2005 Although practices involving mutilations such as tail docking and dehorning should not be systematically practised on organic farms, inspection bodies may authorise such practices to benefit the health, hygiene or welfare of livestock, or for safety reasons. All such operations should be recorded in the Livestock Health Plan, and they should be carried out by qualified staff with the minimum possible suffering for the animals. UK Compendium, Annex IB, Paragraph 6.1.2. The UK Compendium standards on operations involving animal mutilations, such as tail docking or dehorning, are identical to the EU Regulation 2092/91 except for their additional requirement to record the operations in the Livestock Health Plan, which is itself a separate requirement set out in UK Compendium, Paragraph 2.1.2. (see the relevant difference item). EU Regulation contains no separate requirement for a Livestock Health Plan, so it cannot include a requirement to include any specific operations in this health plan. The UK Compendium requires all operations affecting livestock health and welfare to be recorded in the Livestock Health Plan, not only those involving mutilations. The requirement is mentioned again specifically in Paragraph 6.1.2. to ensure clarity and enforceability.
Livestock management, physical operations/mutilations - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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Soil Association standards include a number of detailed requirements and restrictions relating to operations involving physical mutilation of different classes of livestock. Soil Association standards allow the disbudding or castration of calves, and the tail docking or castration of sheep and goats, on condition that these practices are justified for welfare reasons. Soil Association standards require such operations to be detailed in the animal health plan, and in this latter requirement, they comply with UK Compendium of Organic Standards, Paragraph 6.1.2. Disbudding of calves is permitted only up to 3 months old and castration of calves only to 2 months. Use of a rubber ring for the castration of calves, and for the castration or tail docking of sheep and goats, is permitted without anaesthetic only within the first week of life, after which, anaesthetic is required. For tail docking or castration of sheep and goats, the burdizzo method is permitted up to 6 weeks old, and use of a hot iron is permitted between 3 and 6 weeks old. Castration of pigs is permitted only with Soil Association permission in exceptional circumstances, and castrated pigs may not be sold as organic. Deer antlers may be removed only with Soil Association permission, which will only be given on grounds of safety or welfare, and in any case, not when the antlers are in velvet. No other mutilating operations are permitted in Soil Association standards. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 11.5.12 - 11.5.15, 12.2.1, 12.2.2, 13.2.2, 14.3.2 and 20.5.4.)
Soil Association standards contain detailed rules that EU Regulation 2092/91 explicitly permits inspection bodies to set. The Soil Association rules on livestock mutilating operations are designed to minimise animal welfare problems in the context of the culture and conditions in which livestock are kept in the UK. The aim is to allow only those types of mutilation that are widely practised in UK agriculture and only if they can be carried out without excessive pain and can be justified on the grounds of animal welfare. The rules are detailed for each class of livestock by the Soil Association standards, which is enabled by the discretion permitted for inspection bodies within the EU Regulation.
Livestock physical operations/mutilations - FI Governmental Regulation on organic animal production 2000
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Castration of pigs is forbidden after the age of 7 days. Furthermore some mutilations; attaching elastic bands to the tails of sheep, tail-docking, cutting of teeth, trimming of beaks) mentioned in Annex I B 6.1.2 are not allowed according to the Finnish animal protection law.
The Finnish Guidelines are more precise as they list the physical operations/mutilations, which are not allowed whereas the EU Regulation in Article 6.1.2. allow operations such as attaching elastic bands to the tails of sheep, tail-docking, cutting of teeth, trimming of beaks and dehorning if they are not be carried out systematically in organic farming. Some of these operations may, however, be authorised by the inspection authority or body, for reasons of safety (for example dehorning in young animals) or if they are intended to improve the health, welfare or hygiene of the livestock. Some of the treatments (attaching elastic bands to the tails of sheep, tail-docking, cutting of teeth, trimming of beaks) are not allowed according to the Finnish animal protection law (396/1996)
Milk for offsprings, held-back milk - NO Governmental Regulation 2005
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When milk which has been held back as a result of treatment with antibiotics or chemically-synthesised veterinary medicine, cannot be used as feed for organic animals before the fifth day following the treatment. Feeding milk which has been kept back after this period is considered as organic feed portion. From 1 month before slaughter, no animals must be fed with milk that has been held back.
EU Regulation 2092/91 has no details on this specific area, what has to be done with milk when animals have been treated with antibiotics The EU regulation 2092/91 has no details on this specific area, and farmers were asking for clarification.
Veterinary prophylactic treatment, teat dipping - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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Prophylactic teat dipping with chemical or synthetic substances is forbidden. (BA-Rules 2006 chapter 3.5.9)
The Bio Austria General Standard is more detailed, as EU Regulation 2092/91 does not mention dipping. However EU does not allow prophylactical treatment with chemically synthesised allopathic vetenary medicinal products. Prophylactic teat dipping with chemical or synthetic substances places selection pressure on the symbiotic flora of the teat, possibly leading to the development of resistant micro-organisms. Residues of these substances can also remain on the teats.
Veterinary treatent, parasite control - UK Compendium 2005 Growth promoting substances, or hormones to promote growth or affect reproduction, may not be used, but hormones may be used for the therapeutic veterinary treatment of an individual animal. Veterinary treatments that are compulsory under national or EU law are not prohibited. Livestock may not be treated with organophosphate chemicals. However, f they must be treated with organophosphates by law, then they must be permanently marked, their meat may not be sold as organic, and their other products may be sold as organic only after a full conversion period. UK Compendium contains an additional subsection, which places a prohibition on the use of organophosphate (OP) treatments, If OP treatments must be used by law, then the meat from the treated animal may not be sold as organic, and its other products may be sold as organic only with inspection body agreement and after a full conversion period. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not mention OP treatments. Otherwise, UK Compendium standards on growth promoters and hormones are identical to the EU Regulation. A specific prohibition on organic status for animals exposed to organophosphate chemicals is considered necessary to ensure that organic products will not pose any public health risk. Organophosphate chemicals have been suspected of involvement in a number of degenerative nervous diseases in both livestock and people, and these problems have been well publicised in UK. The additional text in UK Compendium continues a prohibition on organophosphate treatments in UK organic standards, which pre-dates the EU Regulation.
Veterinary treatment, alllopathic products - UK Compendium 2005 Veterinary treatments should conform to national and EU laws. Recommended types of treatment should be preferred to chemically synthesised allopathic products for treating disease. Chemically synthesised allopathic products, including antibiotics, should be used if essential for animal welfare. Preventative treatments may not include chemically synthesised allopathic products, except when agreed by the inspection body for identifiable disease risks. Vaccines may be more used early on in a Livestock Health Plan for identifiable disease risks. The aim must be to progressively reduce reliance on such treatments by reducing disease risks. All health treatments must be summarised in the Livestock Health Plan. UK Compendium makes clear that all organic veterinary treatments should be within the normal legal limitations, but this is not specified in the EU Regulation 2092/91. For preventative treatments, the EU Regulation prohibits any use of chemically synthesised allopathic products, and it makes no mention of animal health plans. UK Compendium permits the use of such treatments, when animal welfare is cannot be otherwise assured due to an identifiable disease risk, but only in the context of the Livestock Health Plan required by UK Compendium, Paragraph 5.1.2. Particularly during organic conversion, the use of these treatments may be permitted by the Inspection body. Vaccines are also permitted for identifiable risks. The livestock health plan should provide the means to progressively reduce the disease risks and their associated veterinary treatments, and it must include a summary of all veterinary and health treatments. UK Compendium clarifies that there are no legal exceptions for organic livestock producers. UK Compendium aims to avoid problems that may result from removal of conventional veterinary treatments before organic husbandry methods have had enough time to improve livestock health status and to reduce disease risks. The livestock manager is given time to learn, and this also helps avoid health and welfare problems during organic conversion. UK Compendium?s requirement for a Livestock Health Plan enables this gradual approach during the conversion period, aiming to maintain optimum levels of animal welfare at every stage.
Veterinary treatment, alllopathic products - US NOP 2002
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§ 205.238 Livestock health care practice standard. (b) When preventive practices and veterinary biologics are inadequate to prevent sickness, a producer may administer synthetic medications: Provided, that, such medications are allowed under § 205.603. (c) The producer of an organic livestock operation must not: - label as organic any animal or edible product derived from any animal treated with antibiotics, any substance not allowed under § 205.603 or any nonsynthetic substance prohibited in § 205.604. - Administer any animal drug other than vaccinations, in the absence of illness; - Withhold medical treatment from a sick animal in an effort to preserve its organic status.
According to US only those animal drugs listed in under § 205.603 may be applied whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 allows administering chemically-synthesised allopathic veterinary medicinal products or antibiotics provided that other measures are not effective and the withdrawal period is duplicated. US require animals treated with antibiotics or any substances not listed in the positive list to be sold as conventional. US prohibit parasiticides for slaughter stock and sets specific restrictions for their use on dairy and breeder stock. EU does neither prohibit parasiticides for slaughter stock nor set other restrictions on their use. No justification was available.
Veterinary treatment, allopathic products, routine use - Demeter International 2005
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Routine treatment with allopathic medicines is not allowed with the exception of endemic parasitism. The application of anthelmintics requires faecal egg counts. (DI production standards, 5.8. Medical treatment of animals)
The DI standard contains further requirements. EU Regulation 2092/91 does not require faecal egg counts before anthelmintic use. Natural remedies are preferred. They often have an harmonizing effect and are supporting the self-healing process of the organism. A further reason is to avoid contamination with objectionable substances.
Veterinary treatment, allopathic products, treatment frequency - FR Regulation 2000
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The number of treatments allowed with chemically synthetised veterinary medicines varies from one species to another. For example poultry may have none, while ewes can have two. The number of treatments for parasites is limited, depending on the species.
The French regulations give a maximum number of chemically synthetised allopathic treatments, including parasite-treatments, for each species. EU Regulation 2092/91 limits chemically synthetised allopathic treatments to 3 a year (or 1 if the animal lives less than a year) for every species and puts no limit on the number of chemically synthetised allopathic treatments for parasites. Chemically synthetised allopathic treatment should be restricted if possible. Treatments for parasites should not be systematically applied, because systematic allopathic treatments are not consistent with organic farming principles.
Veterinary treatment, allopathic products, treatment frequency - Nature et Progres Standards 2002
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The number of treatments allowed with chemically synthetised veterinary medicines (including teatments for parasites and vaccinations) varies from one species to another and is strictly limited. For example poultry may have none, while pigs can have one.
Nature et Progrès standards give a low maximum number of chemically synthetised allopathic treatments, including parasite-treatments and vaccinations, for each species. EU Regulation 2092/91 limits chemically synthetised allopathic treatments to 3 a year (or 1 if the animal lives less than a year) for every species and puts no limit on the number of chemically synthetised allopathic treatments for parasites. Chemically synthetised allopathic treatment should be restricted if possible. Treatments for parasites should not be systematically applied, because systematic allopathic treatments are not consistent with organic farming principles. The prevention of parasite problems is encouraged. Systematic vaccinations can make the immune system of animals more fragile and then raise the use of allopathic treatments.
Veterinary treatment, allopathic products, treatment frequency - UK Compendium 2005 After more than three courses of treatment involving chemically synthesised allopathic veterinary medicines, or more than one course for an animal with a productive lifecycle of less than one year, an animal will need to go through a complete organic conversion period in order for its products to be sold as organic. However, this rule does not apply to vaccinations, parasite treatments, and compulsory treatments. An additional interpretive note in the UK Compendium makes clear that a course of treatment includes all treatments given for a particular disease episode. The EU Regulation 2092/91 is more general. The EU Regulation could possibly be interpreted more strictly than it is by DEFRA, and the interpretive note removes any doubt about the interpretation.
Veterinary treatment, general requirements - DE Bioland Standards 2005
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Certain substances (active matters, groups of pharmaceuticals, listed in the corresponding chapter 10.5.) that are considered to be harmful or critical and that can be replaced by other less critical substances or treatments are excluded from use even as a medical treatment. (Bioland production standards, 4.6.2 Treatment; Bioland production standards, 10.5 Pharmaceutical Products, the Use of which is Prohibited or Limited in the Keeping of Animals)
The BIOLAND standard is more detailed an lists substances not permitted. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not exclude specific substances from use as medical treatment. The use of substances that may have an influence on the quality of the food or the environment shall be excluded or at least restricted.
Veterinary treatment, non-medical products - SE KRAV 2006
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The withholding periods for meat, wool and hides are 6 months after treatment with antibiotics and chemotherapeutics is double the legal period but always at least 6 months. For treatments with vitamins, minerals and anaesthetics the withholding period is the double of the legally required. For other substances the withholding period is double the legal but always at least 2 months. The withholding periods for milk and egg is double the legal period. For substances without a set period the withholding period is 48 hours. The KRAV standards also have a list of substances which can be used without any withdrawal period if there is no legal period. These are calcium for milk fever, agents to increase bloodsugar, carbon preparations, natural medicines, injections with vitamins and minerals, all external treatments except parasite treatment or formalin. (KRAV standards paragraph 5.4.8, 5.4.10 and 5.4.11).
EU Regulation 2092/91 states that the withdrawal period after use of allopathic veterinary medicine is double the legal period or if not specified, 48 hours. The KRAV standards have the same withdrawal periods for milk and eggproducts. For meat, wool and hides the withholding periods are longer. There is always a risk for residues after a medicine treatment, for meat, wool and hides it has been seen as possible to prolong the withholding period compared to EU 2091/91 but not for milk and eggs. The list of treatments which are stated to have no withholding periods are substances which are seen to not make any residues or other problems, and they are not classified as allopathic medicines.
Veterinary treatment, number of treatments - Int. Codex Alimentarius Guidelines 2005 Withholding periods for chemical allopathic veterinary drugs or antibiotics should be not less than double of that required by legislation, in any case a minimum of 48 hours.(Codex Alimentarius Guidelines Article 20) Codex Alimentarius is more general than the EU Regulation 2092/91, where more than 3 course of treatments within one year (with the exception of vaccinations, treatments against parasites or compulsary treatments established by member states)lead to disapproval of the animal. The Codex Alimentarius Guidelines are a guidance for governments and not a standard or a regulation on itself, therefore it cannot be so specific.
Veterinary treatment, parasite control - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Veterinary treatments to control parasites, which involve the use of organo-phosphorus or organo-chlorine compounds, are not permitted unless required by law. If so required, any animals treated cannot be used for organic meat, and their milk cannot be sold as organic until the completion of a full conversion period. Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 10.10.27 and 10.10.28. Soil Association Standards include a prohibition that is not part of the EU Regulation 2092/91. The EU Regulation places no specific prohibition on organo-phosphorus or organo-chlorine compounds for veterinary treatment. Soil Association standards prohibit these compounds. Soil Association standards comply with UK Compendium of Organic Standards, Annex 1B, Paragraph 5.5 in prohibiting Organo-phosphorus compound, but UK Compendium does not include the prohibition on organo-chlorine compounds. Organophosphate chemicals have been suspected of involvement in a number of degenerative nervous diseases in livestock, producers and consumers. Organo-chlorine chemicals have been implicated in many environmental and public health problems. A specific prohibition is considered necessary on organic status for the products of animals exposed to these chemicals to ensure that organic products will not pose any public health or environmental risk.
Veterinary treatment, parasite control, withdrawral periods - SE KRAV 2006
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The withholding period for meat, wool and hides are double the legal period but at least 2 months after treatments against parasites with chemical agents. For milk and eggs the withholding period after the same type of treatments is double the legal period and for substances without a set period it is 48 hours. (KRAV standards paragraph 5.4.10).
EU Regulation 2092/91 states that the withdrawal period after use of allopathic veterinary medicine is double the legal period or if not specified, 48 hours. Chemical treatments of parasites are in Sweden not classified as veterinary medicine but as a chemical pesticide. It is unclear if the withdrawal periods of EU Regulation 2092/91 cover chemical pesticides. The withholding periods in the KRAV standards are longer for meat, wool and hides.
Veterinary treatment, withdrawral period - UK Compendium 2005 There must be a withdrawal period from the last administration of an allopathic veterinary medicine to the sale of organic livestock products from the same animal. This must be at least twice the normal, legal minimum withdrawal period, or 48 hours if the latter is unspecified. If the medicine is chemically synthesised, and if it is used in a different way to that specified in the Marketing Authorisation, there is one withdrawal period specified for eggs and milk, and another for meat. EU Regulation 2092/91 refers only to allopathic veterinary medicines and specifies twice the legal minimum withdrawal period. The UK Compendium additionally specifies minimum withdrawal periods for organic livestock products after the use of chemically synthesised allopathic veterinary medicines other than that specified in the Marketing Authorisation. The UK Compendium applies a more precautionary approach than EU Regulation, regarding product withdrawal periods after the use of chemically synthesised allopathic veterinary medicines, to avoid consumer health risks from exposure to chemical residues in organic products.