Organic livestock farming


Ratification Date: 29 Jul 2016


The health and welfare of individual animals must always override maintenance of organic status, and animals must receive appropriate veterinary treatment where indicated.

Veterinarians should be involved in the development of Organic Management Plans (OMPs) to ensure the health and welfare of animals is not compromised in order to attain or maintain organic status. Veterinarians attending organic farms should be aware of these standards and be closely involved with assisting producers in implementing their OMPs.


Treatments and strategies for the control and prevention of animal disease should be appropriate for the district or region and should take account of the biosecurity risk to both the enterprise and neighbours.

Any attending veterinarian informed of the organic status of an enterprise should:

  • Provide appropriate treatments that meet the health and welfare needs of an animal under his or her care as the primary consideration, and if feasible, ensure that such treatment is consistent with the requirements of organic certification.
  • Take account of the effect of the treatment of any animal on its individual organic status or that of the enterprise, and advise the owner accordingly.

Veterinarians attending or treating animals of the enterprise should have access to relevant documents, and if an animal health and welfare plan has been implemented, provide treatments in accordance with that plan, provided this will not compromise the welfare of individual animals.