Abstract: BACKGROUND: On the subject of "animal health in organic farming" an evaluative review and assessment of publications has been conducted. This overview is intended to provide recommendations for future research to optimize the organic farming. The literature search covers the period from 1991 to 2011. Articles from international and national magazines, some with a peer-review process, other periodicals and reports have been collected. A total of recorded 569 publications (thereof 33% reviewed) related to animal health in organic farming were found. This included articles on general topics (42 publications), on cattle (211), on pigs (181), on poultry (100), on small ruminants (25) and on other species (10). A majority of the studies deals with "status quo - representations" (n = 222). Particularly comparative studies within organic production systems are rare (n = 86). Less than half of the investigations carried out a comparison with the aid of a control group or cohort (n = 205). Of 417 studies which originated from organic or comparable farming systems only 103 were published reviewed. In addition, there is a lack of research to examine a practical approach (n = 124).
RESULTS: In organic cattle farming frequently the subject of mastitis has been edited. Problems such as lameness, metabolic disorders or calves' diseases were studied subordinately. In organic pig farming the health of fattening pigs, sows and piglets together account for only 57 % of articles. Mortality of piglets and poor body condition of sows after weaning, parasites and other difficulties tributary to free-range-system are described with priority. The remaining publications attend to general problems. Articles concerning health in poultry farming attend mostly to layers (54 %) and to broilers (26 %). E.g., feather pecking and hygienic problems due to the free-range system are described. Health especially in organic small ruminants and other minor species is described rarely. The problems concerning animal health in organic as in conventional farming are comparable. In general, an implementation-oriented, but at the same time high-quality scientific research is needed to optimize the conditions for animal health and animal welfare in organic farming.
1.Simoneit, Celine; Bender, Sophia; Koopmann, Regine. (2012). Quantitative and qualitative overview and assessment of literature on animal health in organic farming between 1991 and 2011 – Part 1: general and cattle. Landbauforschung 62(3): 97-104.
Simoneit, Celine; Bender, Sophia; Koopmann, Regine. (2012). Quantitative and qualitative overview and assessment of literature on animal health in organic farming between 1991 and 2011 – Part 2: pigs, poultry and others. Landbauforschung 62(3): 105-110.