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Defra permission now needed for some restricted practices

Defra permission - restricted practices

Following an audit of the UK organic system by the European Commission, Defra have made some changes to how some permissions for restricted practices are administered.

This means that UK Control Bodies can no longer authorise some restricted practices on behalf of Defra and Defra will have to review and authorise the practices themselves. We will be working with Defra to try and make sure that this new process is as practical as possible and will still enable quick decisions to be made. Some practices will need prior authorisation from Defra and others, provided you meet certain criteria agreed by Defra, can still be authorised by us. We will need to report details to Defra about these every month.

The practices that will be affected by the change are:

Those that will need prior authorisation from Defra
•Bringing in non-organic breeding females by up to 40% of the existing herd or flock size.
•Bringing-in of non-organically reared poultry or non-organically reared pullets for egg production when organically reared pullets are not available.
•Renewal or reconstitution of a herd or flock with non-organic animals or the reconstitution of an apiary with non-organic bees following high mortality caused by health or catastrophic circumstances.
•Use of synthetic vitamins A, D or E as feed additives for ruminants.
•Tethering cattle on small holdings. – This is not allowed in Soil Association Standards.

Those that will need to meet criteria previously approved by Defra
•Operations to be carried out for reasons of safety or to improve animal health, welfare or hygiene - including tail docking of lambs and disbudding or dehorning of cattle
•Use of sodium nitrite or potassium nitrate as a food additive for meat products if there is no technological alternative. For most products that traditionally use these additives (bacon, ham etc.) blanket approval has already been granted by Defra.
•Use of non-organic vegetative propagating material.

In most cases these changes will not affect what information you provide to us or create additional work for you but, where it does, we will try to minimise the impact to you wherever we can.

If you have any queries about these changes and how they will affect you please contact your certification officer.