Animal Health & Welfare

What have scientists determined in their research about the quality, nutritional characteristics, and production practices used in organic agriculture? Below are summaries of peer-reviewed studies by international scientists and researchers regarding animal health and welfare as it relates to organic agriculture. Each link provides a summary of the study's background, methodology, findings and conclusions, and lists the full reference for further reading.

While the quality of animal products (meat, milk, eggs, etc.) is dependent the health of the animal, not all livestock studies explictly look at how the process of husbandry impacts the quality of meat. Studies in this list consider how growing conditions (diet, mobility, antibiotic use, etc.) impact fertility, disease resistance and animal product quality.

Many of the studies on this page have ties to Consumer Perspectives and Environmental Impacts and will be listed elsewhere on this website. For ease of navigation, you can sort listings by food group below.

  • Consumer Perspectives include the ethics of animal husbandry, as well as the impacts of production standards on meat quality and human health.
  • Environmental Impacts studies consider livestock production inputs and outputs influenced by the choice of feed (pasture vs. grain), housing (free-range vs. concentrated operations) and healthcare (reduced vs. high use of antibiotics). Although these categories are not sublisted here, they may be found through the sidebar menu. Note that livestock feed varies among countries, and comparisons of organic and conventional systems in other countries may produce different results in the United States.

Note: Descriptions about the scientific findings and conclusions are those of the original author, and not this project. Typographic errors may be attributed to the original sources. Please contact this website to report broken or outdated source links.