Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Specific animal standards
      • Pullet rearing (under development)
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Livestock housing, area, poultry - CH Demeter Standards 2005
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DEMTER has to comply with the Swiss Ordinance on animal husbandry and rules the area of stable size in the same way as the latter. In the stable not more than 6 hens per m2 can be kept, additionally a wintergarden must be provided with 43m2 per 1000 animals and in addition to this there must be an outdoor area (pasture) of 5m2 per animal.
EU Regulation 2092/91 also requires no more than 6 animals/m2, but the size of wintergarden is not defined, and the size of pasture required is 4m2/animal which is less than the size required by Swiss Ordinance and therefore also by DEMETER. From an ethological point of view a lower number of animals per surface area and a lower maximum number of animals per stable is seen as more animal-friendly.
Livestock housing, rearing, poultry - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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In order to avoid problems regarding the behavioural development during acclimatization to the hen house, pullets must be reared at low stocking densities with perches and access to an open range. The rearing system should be as similar as possible to the system used during egg laying. Bio Austria sets special provisions regarding stocking density, structuring of the house and outdoor access to covered outdoor areas (covered yard or wintergardens) and to grassland. Because these rules for pullet rearing are part of the Codex Alimentarius Austriacus they are valid for all organic farms in Austria, not only for Bio Austria farms. (BA-Rules 2006 chapter 3.14)
The Bio Austria General Standard is more detailed than the EU Regulation 2092/91. The EU Regulation does not have special rules for pullet rearing. Therefore it is permisable to use conventional pullets if none are available of organic origin. Since 1.1.2006 in the EU conventional producers of pullets for organic farming have to fulfil the requirements of section 4 (feed) and section 5 (disease prevention and veterinary treatment) but not other requirements, especially for husbandry management, housing and free range areas. Principle of animal welfare; principle of animal and ecological/organic integrity
Livestock housing, rearing, poultry - DE Bioland 2005
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The specific instructions for housing systems used for pullet rearing are concerning the maximum stocking density in relation to the stage of development of the animals (age / weight), the size of the scratching area, the characteristics of perching facilities and size of openings. Daylight is mandatory as well as a permanent accessible outdoor climate area for stocks of more than 200 animals or if the open air run covered with vegetation is less than 2.5m²/animal. If possible 1 cock shall be kept together with 100 hens. (Bioland production standards, 4.2 Requirements in the Keeping of Animals, 4.2.5 Poultry, 4.2.5.2. Young hens 4.2.5.2.1 - 4.2.5.2.3; Bioland production standards, 4.3 Dealing with animals, 4.3.2 Measures in the business)
The BIOLAND standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not indicate specific instructions for rearing pullets at the moment. Consequently the general instructions concerning poultry housing apply. Specific rules are currently under development. In order to ensure the system to meet the specific needs of the animals, it must be adapted and appropriate to the animals stage of development. Consequently specific indications are needed. Chickens must have the opportunity to practice, at an early stage of development, the elements of natural behaviour in order to learn it. Disturbances in the behaviour of laying hens, which can lead to severe problems, should be avoided. Robustness and a natural immunisation against microorganisms present on the farm should be supported by providing outdoor access at an early stage of development.
Livestock housing, rearing, poultry - Naturland 2005
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Specific rules are described for pullet rearing, concerning the adaptation of the indoors stocking density in relation to the age / weight of the animals, the scratching area, illumination, perches and outdoor area. A dust bath is mandatory for pullets from the first week of life. A roofed outdoor area must be accessible from the tenth week of life. The contamination of the free range area with parasites or nutrients must be avoided. (NL standards on production, Part B.II.1.5.3.Pullets).
The NATURLAND standard is more detailed. The EU Regulation 2092/91 does not indicate specific instructions for rearing pullets at the moment. Consequently the general instructions concerning poultry housing apply. Specific rules are currently under development. To provide rules for any significant type of agricultural / food production.