By Mette Vaarst
The quick development of natural farming has been among the main awesome alterations in worldwide agriculture in fresh a long time. before everything, extra awareness was once paid to the crop aspect of natural structures, yet that has now replaced and there's higher acceptance of the necessity to comprehend animal future health and welfare higher.
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Additional resources for Animal health and welfare in organic agriculture
Therefore, a major theme in this book is how to better integrate the animals into the agroecosystem of an organic farm. A relevant question to open such a discussion concerns the roles of the animals on an organic farm – why do we keep them at all, and are they needed to create a ’harmonious’ farm and a sustainable agroecosystem? The process of domestication ought to shed light on this question, because it is a story of a symbiotic development in which the relation between humans and animals developed – ideally!
In this chapter, we are concerned with the ecological aspect, whereas the ethological aspects are discussed in Chapters 6 and 7. Phases in European Agricultural Development Broadly speaking, three phases can be distinguished in the development of today’s agriculture: (i) a pre-agricultural hunter–gatherer society with shifting cultivation; (ii) the development of a diverse agri-cultura (‘caring for the field’) based on local circumstances; and (iii) an industrialized farming system that is much less restricted by its ecological context or impacts (Klett, 1985).
In the Middle Ages, large herds were fattened mainly on acorns, but also beech nuts and chestnuts; pigs still were partially pastured in Europe’s remaining forest areas until the end of the 19th century (Ten Cate, 1972). In the Middle Ages, large areas of forest were cleared for agriculture and to obtain timber and firewood. In place of the forest came moors and steppes, which were grazed by ruminants (cattle, goats and sheep) (Clark, 1947). This made it increasingly difficult to keep pigs exclusively in the forest.
Animal health and welfare in organic agriculture by Mette Vaarst