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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Sanitary problems in organic farming : facts, conceptions and practises

Inra Prod.Anim., 22 (3), 235-244


1 INRA, UR1282, Infectiologie Animale et Santé Publique, F-37380 Nouzilly, France

2 INRA, UR1216 Transformations Sociales et Politiques liés au Vivant, 63/65 Boulevard de Brandebourg, F-94205 Ivry-sur-Seine, France

Sanitary problems in organic animal farming (OF) may not be considered as in conventional farms, since disease is an indicator of an overall difficulty in animal management. Diseases should be managed as a whole in OF. Diseases are frequent in OF but they depend on animal species. Apparently the infectious and parasitic diseases are not completely different from those on conventional farms, although metabolic disorders are possibly different. The evaluation of disease importance remains inaccurate in OF since much of the information is derived from declarations of farmers and technicians (qualitative data). Mastitis in cattle and internal parasites in sheep are the major problems in ruminants, qualitative opinions and quantitative surveys included. Planning of health is a goal in organic farming and remains unfulfilled, even in northern countries where several studies were undertaken. The designing of a health plan is not only technical and requires participation of farmers and we are in dearth of adequate knowledge of farmers’ motivation for such health planning. An example in sheep meat breeding showed that cultural values were an important part for decisions on health improvement. This resul-ted in two main attitudes, one based on the construction of a flock with a stable evolution, health included, and another relying on experience of new herbal drugs and processes to handle health problems. The introduction of cultural choices is a prerequisite for building a health plan in OF.

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