Institute of

Organic Farming

Welfare friendly husbandry

Organic animal husbandry claims targeting an excellent animal health and animal welfare. Farm animals should be enabled to satisfy behavioral and biological needs. Regulations in organic farming and in animal welfare policies are action-oriented: they refer to resources such as space allowance and management, i.e. access to pasture. With this approach, the prerequisites for the exercise of normal behaviour can be created; but the actual state of animal health and behaviour are largely left out. Whether a cow suffers an udder infection or lameness can only be determined when inspecting the cow or through analysis of individual related data (e.g. from milking control). If farm animals are kept in a welfare friendly way, to ensure animal welfare, their needs in regard to health, natural behavior and emotional state should be met,and thus animal based and outcome-oriented indicators have to be considered.