Download e-book for iPad: Animal health and welfare in organic agriculture by Mette Vaarst

By Mette Vaarst

ISBN-10: 085199668X

ISBN-13: 9780851996684

The fast development of natural farming has been among the main striking adjustments in worldwide agriculture in contemporary many years. at the start, extra realization was once paid to the crop aspect of natural structures, yet that has now replaced and there's larger reputation of the necessity to comprehend animal health and wellbeing and welfare higher.

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Example text

In parts of Europe, the animals were housed indoors at night, summer and winter, and their manure was collected. This practice had an important ecological role in perpetuating this interdependent agricultural system, in which everything in the landscape, including the animals, had a specific function. The Swedish saying ‘The meadow is the mother of the field’ shows the traditional farming community’s insight into the relation between animals grazing meadows (and forests) and the fertility of the farmed land.

In the late 1880s, a small selection of Dutch black and white cattle was imported into the USA and bred to create the Holstein–Friesian, a high-production breed that 100 years later dominated the rest of the world (Wiersema, 1989). Cross-breeding and selection allowed milk production to be extended beyond calf-rearing, whereas originally, milk production in the first 6 months after calving was possible only if the cow was in constant contact 24 Historical Role of Animals in Farming Systems with the calf (Fokkinga, 1985, 1995) More generally, this period saw the emergence of an industry based on pedigreed stock, and in England, ‘by 1800 the importance of quality in livestock was becoming fully recognized by progressive farmers, and animal husbandry had made a giant stride away from the haphazard breeding and indiscriminate standards of former times’ (Chambers and Mingay, 1966, p.

However, animal husbandry strongly influenced not only the domesticated animal populations but also the human societies into which they were assimilated (Clutton-Brock, 1981; Meadow, 1989). Domestication has been described as a cultural as well as a biological process (Clutton-Brock, 1989), and it has even been suggested to have influenced human identity (Hastorf, 1998). Domesticated animals have fulfilled various functions in the service of man in the course of human development: sacrificial beast, draught animal, producer of hides, wool, meat, eggs, milk and manure.

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Animal health and welfare in organic agriculture by Mette Vaarst


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