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Research, Policy and Practice

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Table 2 Characteristics of conventional, organic and nomadic animal husbandry

From: An investigation of organic sheep and goat production by nomad pastoralists in southern Iran

  Conventionala Organic (834/2007)a Nomadic
Breeds, origin Highly performing, special breeds and cross-breeds according to product aimed for Only animals reared in organic farms, diversity of breeds, sometimes rare breeds, natural breeding Native breed, locally adapted, natural breeding
Keeping (buildings and free runs) Animal protection laws (requirements for keeping of animal according to species) Special requirements for keeping animals oriented toward animal welfare (stock density, space, grazing, tiding, etc.) Animal are kept in rangeland, oriented toward animal welfare
Feeding According to current foodstuff legislation (permitted food additives such as enzymes and synthetic amino acids) Foodstuffs produced as much as possible on site, feeding rations according to animal welfare (e.g. minimum use/parts of roughage) only specifically permitted additives, no synthetic amino acids, no genetically modified organisms Rangeland is considered the main source of livestock nutrition, no synthetics, no GMOs, no pesticides and chemical fertilizers, livestock are not fed in stables or in restricted areas but they move and graze freely in extensive open grazing areas
Management and treatment Managed breeding, if necessary stable-wide prophylaxis, legally required waiting periods according to drug prescription law No prophylaxis (exception: legally required vaccination), only three allopathical treatments per year for long-lived animals (more than one year) respectively one treatment for livestock, which is not used more than one year; double the waiting period after use of drugs, minimum 48 h. Restricted interfering with the animal’s integrity (no polling, beak trimming, tail clipping, etc.) No prophylaxis (exception: legally required vaccination), minimal allopathical treatments per year, no tethering, polling and tail clipping
Transport Animal transport regulation Animal transport regulation with short transport Animals are grazed by migration mainly, some transportation by trucks
  1. aAdapted from Rahmann (2014)