http://www.soilassociation.org/whatisorganic/organicanimals
Soil Association : Organic animals

Organic animals

Organic standards put animal welfare first. As well as requiring that animals are genuinely free range, organic standards cover living conditions, food quality, the use of antibiotics and hormones, as well as transport and slaughter. These standards mean that animals raised in organic systems enjoy the very highest welfare standards of farmed animals.

A healthy animal is better able to resist disease than a stressed one. Organic livestock farming aims to prevent disease from occurring by promoting health. This is achieved through appropriate diet, high welfare standards for housing, amount of housing space for each animal, and taking measures to reduce stress.

Organic farm animals:

  • Must have access to fields (when weather and ground conditions permit) and are truly free range
  • Must have plenty of space – which helps to reduce stress and disease
  • Must be fed a diet that is as natural as possible and free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • Must only be given drugs to treat an illness – the routine use of antibiotics is prohibited
  • Cannot be given hormones which make them grow more quickly or make them more productive
  • Must not be produced from cloned animals

You can find out more about our specific standards for beef cattledairy cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep as well as our standards for fish farming.