4. Animal protection: Species-appropriate husbandry & Austrian animal feed
Healthy foods come from healthy animals. The recipe: A lot of movement, the best feed, and regular check-ups.
Protecting animals means taking care of their health and well being and nurturing their natural behavior. Prüf Nach! defines the exact requirements for appropriate husbandry, feed, and animal health. In areas like pasture management and animal feed, these are above and beyond the EU organic legislation.
Animals should live in a way that best suites their natural needs in terms of movement, social contact, air, light, noise, and care. Prüf Nach! stipulates clear regulations for pasture management. For example, dairy farms have to have to guarantee 180 free-range days per year, at least 120 of which are on a pasture.
The assessment of species-appropriate husbandry is done according to Bartussek’s Animal Needs Index (ANI) 35 L. The ANI-35L assessment is a recognized, objective method to measure animal husbandry conditions in farming. Dairy farms must reach at least 24 ANI points with Prüf Nach!
Animal feed directly influences the health and well being of the animals. Prüf Nach! requires exclusively Austrian feed and defines the type, production, and administration. The feed must be appropriate for the species; for example, ruminants must be able to graze. This encourages the animals’ natural feeding behavior. Extraction meal is not used. Genetic modification is prohibited, as are soy and soy products for feeding ruminants.
Animal feed catalogs
Species-appropriate husbandry and feeding are the basic requirements for an animal to grow and live a healthy life. The livestock is also required to have regular check-ups by professionals. All Prüf Nach! livestock farmers participate in a program from the Animal Health Service (TGD). Every year veterinarians evaluate the health of the herds and advise organic partners on issues related to husbandry, feed, and the health of their livestock.