Pashu Sandesh, 26 June 2019

Harshita Bhumra1, Ashish Saini2, Sunil Rajoria3

The term Organic means working with nature. It means the higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides with no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more sustainable management of land and natural environment, which refers more wildlife. The term organic refers to not only to the type of inputs used, but also the concept of the farm as an organism in which the component part is a microorganism, soils minerals, organic matter, insecticides and plants. It also means less pesticide, no added colour and no preservatives with any regular use of antibiotics as well.

The Livestock farming involves rearing of the animals in an environment which inevitably differs from their natural habitat. Organic livestock farming is an activity based on land. In which there is no environmental pollution, and particularly natural sources such as the soil and water, organic production of livestock are used for production and the land. Organic principles are made to enhance the 'naturalness' of the way in which the livestock are being reared.

Organic livestock farming means that the milk, meat, poultry and egg products that come from farms are inspected to meet rigorous standards which mandate the use of organic feed, with no use of antibiotics, and give animal access to outdoors, fresh air and sunlight. The Production methods for organic livestock rearing are selected on the basis of the criteria that they meet all the health regulations, work in harmony with the environment, build biological persity and healthy soil and growing conditions where market animals that are raised without any use of the toxic pesticides and antibiotics. Organic livestock management aims to utilize the natural breeding methods, minimize stress, prevent disease and to eliminate the use of chemical veterinary drugs (including antibiotics), and to maintain animal health and welfare.

The basic organic livestock standard for organic livestock production includes the health and natural behaviour of their animals throughout the year. For example, organic livestock must generally, managed organically from the last third of gestation (mammals) or second day of life (poultry), Allowed year-round access to the outdoors except under specific conditions, raised on certified organic land meeting all organic crop production standards and raised per animal health and welfare standards.

Organic livestock is raised in such a way that it accommodates their good health and natural behaviour they are provided access to the outdoors, proper shed with shade, fresh air, proper sunlight, clean and dry bedding in it with appropriate space for exercise and 24 hours clean drinking water.

Feeds and feeding requirements for the organic livestock rearing are that they should be provided with sufficient green fodder, it should be 100 per cent naturally grown feed and there should not be the use of any synthetic preservatives, artificial colouring agents, synthetic amino acids, synthetic growth promoters, emulsifiers, urea etc.

Housing requirement for the organic livestock rearing includes that animal which is to be reared should not be caged, or confined in a place, they should have sufficient area to graze with sufficient movement with the maximum amount of fresh air and daylight. They should be reared in herds/flocks of an appropriate size; dry litter material should be used as bedding for the comfort of the animal. 

In India, Uttarakhand is the pioneering state in organic agriculture, since it is the first state declared as organic. Nowadays health-conscious consumers are increasing day by day and they need environmentally safe products with chemical residue-free foods, along with product traceability and a high standard of animal welfare. These can be ensured only by organic production methods. Organic farming can provide quality food without adversely affecting soil health and the environment.

Demand for organic livestock products is growing rapidly in India and consumers are ready to pay a large price premium for organic food. Literacy is on the rise and the media are making consumers more and more aware of it and concerned about animal welfare issues and healthy foods. This may well boost the domestic consumption of organic foods.

Conclusion: Organic livestock farming does not mean to be interpreted as the foods produced are healthier, safer or all natural. It simply means that the products follow the defined standard of production and handling, although surveys indicate that consumers consider the organic label as an indication of purity and careful handling. In order to make organic livestock farming a success, there is need to take care of certain points, like reducing the paperwork and cost for certification; sourcing of organic inputs like feeds and fodder, disease prevention, cost of production and maintaining animal health etc.

Harshita Bhumra1, Ashish Saini2, Sunil Rajoria3

Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension, Apollo College of Veterinary Medicine, Jaipur1, Teaching Associate, PGIVER, Jaipur2, Teaching Associate, VUTRC, Dungarpur3