What is this?
Organic livestock is a production system that does not authorise the use of synthetic chemicals (chemical fertilisers, herbicides) or genetically modified organisms. Organic livestock farming cares for the welfare of the animals, not forcing their natural cycles and providing them with proper shelter and access to grazing lands. The animals are fed organic fodder and feed, obtained mainly from the same holding. Animal health management is based on the prevention of diseases by selecting breeds adapted to the area, good handling practices and an adequate diet and encourages genetic diversification by using indigenous animals.
The legislation on organic livestock farming establishes the conditions for the production to be certified as being of organic livestock origin. In an organic holding, a series of principles and rules of production must be fulfilled with regards to the handling of pastures, the cattle, the food, veterinarian treatments, management of manure and slurry, etc.
Conversión a la ganadería ecológica
The transition period, during which organic productionmethods are introduced in the production unit, is known as the conversion period. This period applies to the animals and to the lands that are involved in the production of animals. The conversion period begins following the request for the production unit to be included in the COPAE registers; from this moment on, the organic production legislation must be followed and the production cannot be commercialised as organic production until this period has finalised.
The converison periods will have the following duration: Fields that are being used for the production of food for animals: 2 years. In the case of animals and their products, the conversion period will be:
a) Equine and bovine, destined for meat production: 12 months and never less than three-quarters of their life time; b) animals destined for milk production: 6 months; c) small ruminants and pigs: 6 months; d) poultry, destined for meat production (introduced before the first three days of life): 10 weeks; e) poultry destined for egg production: 6 weeks.
In organic livestock, a simultaneous conversion is usually applied to both the land and the animals for a total duration of two years, where the livestock conversion is carried out during the last phase of the land conversion.
In Asturias, organically produced Asturian beef is commercialised using the COPAE certification and also the Regulatory Body PGI“Asturian Beef” certification. To facilitate a joint certification, both bodies have signed a collaboration agreement. If you would like to register with the PGI “Asturian Beef” Regulatory Body, contact them directly and they will inform you of the steps to follow. For further information on organic livestock production legislation, download the Organic Livestock Guide. This guide will provide you with answers to what organic livestock is, its advantages, how it is regulated, what conditions and steps are required to certify a production as organic and how to apply.