Argall Family wrote:
> Julie asked:
> "...Can anyone tell me if there are any PRIVATE
> organic certifiers that require pasture-access for livestock at all? (dairy
> cattle, laying hens, and now meat animals)."
> Certainly in Australia the accredited private certifying organisations must
> meet the National Standard [relevant extract below].
> The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), where I live (a bit equivalent to
> the District of Columbia) in 1997 passed legislation banning the sale of
> eggs from battery hens, in the knowledge that the law could not come into
> effect immediately as it amounted to a restraint in trade and required a
> public interest inquiry by the federal Productivity Commission. The report
> of the Productivity Commission is at
> http://www.indcom.gov.au/inquiry/batthen/report/index.html There may be
> information there of relevance elsewhere. The upshot is that the ACT law can
> only come into effect when all the states pass similar laws. This has been
> pursued nationally by the Greens Party and some others, but without success
> so far.
> extract from The Australian National Standard
> for Organic and Bio-dynamic Produce
> Second Edition
> Organic Produce Advisory Committee, Australian Quarantine and Inspection
> Copyright ISBN 0-646-35460-4
> 3.27 Animals must have free access to pasture. Choice feeding, whereby
> animals are provided with a wide variety of food natural to their diet, is
> the preferred method of providing the livestock diet.
> 3.28 In cases of extreme climatic [in Australia this means drought] or other
> extenuating circumstances (such as fires) exemption to fodder inputs may be
> granted whereby inputs from other sources may be up to 40% of the dry matter
> intake. The use of such feed should be sourced from, in the first instance
> (i) in conversion fodder, or
> (ii) conventionally produced fodder which may only be used after it has been
> demonstrated that products from i) are unavailable.
> Where feed is sourced from (i) above certification status is unaffected.
> Livestock fed from source (ii) above must, however, be fed on organically
> sourced inputs for a consecutive 6 month period before regaining organic
> status. Livestock product residue testing may be required.
> 3.29 The grazing of animals in natural/rangeland areas [this is a wilderness
> protection concern] is considered part of an organic production method
> provided that the following are met:
> - grazing occurs within clearly defined areas that are subject to the
> inspection measures set out in Section 5;
> - those areas have received no treatments with products other than those
> referred to in Annex I for a period of three years before grazing;
> - the grazing does not disturb the stability of the natural habitat.
> Monitoring of re-establishment and/or maintenance of the original native
> species must be undertaken;
> - the animals are managed according to this Standard.
> 3.30 Maintenance of livestock must be guided by an attitude of care,
> responsibility and respect for living creatures. Pain inflicted by
> treatments such as castrating, marking and mulesing, must be kept to a
> minimum. The use of anaesthetics will not result in loss of organic status.
> Stress must be minimised. Living conditions must consider the natural needs
> of the animal for free movement, food, water, shelter and shade.
> Consideration must be given to their specific natural behavioural patterns
> and access provided to pasture at all times.
> 3.31 The use of artificial practices such as lighting to increase
> productivity is not permitted."
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