At a time when pastured poultry raisers are being urged by officials to keep their flocks indoors — to supposedly prevent their being contaminated by wild birds — it is encouraging to see the National Organic Standards Board trying to toughen the regulations regarding organic poultry by requiring them to have meaningful access to the out-of-doors. The NOSB recognizes that natural decontamination from sunlight, fresh air and bio-diverse soil are the best ways to promote animal vitality.
Organic standards for livestock health are primarily based on keeping the animals healthy in the first place, which is as it should be. No medications or interventions can be as effective as prevention, humane care and a proper diet. The articles in this issue are based on that organic principle. We analyze both disease and good health from the perspective of organic regulations and management.