Health Care Regulations for Organic Dairy and Livestock in the United States

eOrganic author:

Jim Riddle, University of Minnesota

Section 205.238 of the National Organic Program (NOP) final rule (United States Department of Agriculture [USDA], 2000) requires that organic livestock producers must establish preventative livestock health care practices, including:

  1. Selection of species and types of livestock that are suitable for site-specific conditions and resistant to prevalent diseases and parasites;
  2. Provision of a feed ration sufficient to meet nutritional requirements, including vitamins, minerals, protein and/or amino acids, fatty acids, energy sources, and fiber (for ruminants);
  3. Establishment of appropriate housing, pasture conditions, and sanitation practices to minimize the occurrence and spread of diseases and parasites;
  4. Conditions which allow for exercise, freedom of movement, and reduction of stress appropriate to the species (no caged laying hens, for example);
  5. Performance of physical alterations as needed to promote the animal's welfare and in a manner that minimizes pain and stress; and
  6. Administration of vaccines and other veterinary biologics.

References and Citations


Published January 21, 2009

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.