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Livestock - Organic Livestock

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Definition:

Organic livestock includes the following animals: cattle, sheep, goats, bees, swine, poultry and equine animals. Special categories of organic livestock include wild or domesticated game and what the USDA terms as, "Nonplant life." Fish and other aquatic animals are not included in the organic livestock category.

Organic livestock can be used for food or in the production of food, fiber, feed, or other agricultural-based consumer products

To be considered organic and to qualify for organic certification, livestock owners must follow a strict set of rules enforced by the National Organic Program (NOP). Some rules include:

  • Livestock must graze on organic land.
  • Livestock must be fed organic feed.
  • Livestock must be treated with medications and vaccines that contain allowed ingredients.
  • Livestock must have access to pasture.
  • Livestock must be raised without harmful antibiotics or hormones.

Examples:

Because organic livestock must have access to pasture, livestock operators manage both animals and pasture or crop ground. Since livestock operators manage two systems, livestock operation managers must fill out an Organic Crops Plan Application and an Organic Livestock Plan Application to apply for organic certification.

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