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Partial characterization of the Spanish organic livestock sector and current problems

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Authors: Carmen L. Manuelian, Elena Albanell, Xavier Such y Massimo De Marchi
Issue: 117-4 (390-414)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: animal health, animal production, animal management, bio, questionnaire

An on‑line questionnaire was emailed to 1,055 organic farmers from November 2018 to February 2019 to gather information about issues and use of contentious inputs in organic production. A total of 116 responses were retained for the analysis. Characteristics of the participants (68 % men) and participating farms (67 % only had one species) were representatives of the Spanish organic livestock sector. In relation to the use of contentious inputs, participants indicated more difficult to find information about the use of alternatives on antibiotics, antiparasitics, and synthetic vitamins than to find information for animals' bedding; although, they mostly use straw as bedding material. They indicated feeding/nutrition, welfare, and animal health as main concerns nowadays in their farms, and animal health and production cost when moving to organic farming. In the last year, 65 % of the farmers did not administer antibiotics to their animals and the use of alternative therapies depended on the health issue they were facing, although they still relied more on conventional treatments. Based on a multiple‑check response, most farmers declared to mainly obtain information about the use of alternatives treatments trough veterinarians and the internet. In conclusion, despite production costs were relevant when deciding becoming an organic farmer, their main concerns as organic producers were related to animal health and welfare. Moreover, there is still a scarce use of alternatives treatments such as phytoterapy, homeopathy, as well as additives such as the probiotics.


Manuelian CL, Albanell E, Such X, De Marchi M (2021). Caracterización parcial del sector ganadero ecológico español y problemática actual. ITEA‑Información Técnica Económica Agraria 117(4): 390‑414.

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