Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Specific animal standards
      • Cattle
Go back to overview Go to complete documents for this section
Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Free range conditions, area, cattle - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005 Cattle must be allowed fresh forage throughout the grazing season with a specified minimum total grazing area. Buffer feeding of grazing cattle is permitted. Soil Association standards state that cattle must be allowed fresh forage throughout the grazing season with a minimum total grazing area of 0.27 hectares per cow per season and that buffer feeding is permitted. Soil Association Organic Standards Paragraphs 11.3.3 and 11.3.4. Soil Association standards are more specific than the EU Regulation 2092/91 with regards to minimum grazing areas for cattle. EU Regulation only states that herbivores must have access to pasture whenever conditions allow and that outdoor pasture must be of sufficiently low stocking density to prevent poaching and overgrazing without giving a minimum figure for the grazing area per cow/season. The Soil Association sets a minimum grazing area for cows, taking account of UK organic grassland productivity, to help ensure the following: that soil condition and grassland habitats are conserved; that the cattle have an adequate ranging area to optimise their health and welfare; that an adequate proportion of their forage during the grazing season is grazed, not conserved; and that the risk of water pollution is minimised.
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.