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Organic Farming: Antimicrobials

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL10370, tabled on 16 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many emergency derogations to use non-organic antimicrobial products were authorised to certified organic producers of (1) beef cattle, (2) dairy cattle, (3) sheep, (4) goats, and (5) pigs, in England in each of the past three calendar years.

Answered on

30 November 2020

Individual derogations are not offered for the use of non-organic antibiotics for organic livestock. Organic farmers may use non-organic antibiotics when necessary, if they have exhausted the possibilities for treatment using other measures.

This decision is under the responsibility of the veterinarian caring for the livestock. Records are kept and maintained by the producer and are referred to as part of annual and ad hoc inspections carried out by Organic Control Bodies. Therefore, no centralised records exist.

In cases where an animal requires non-organic antibiotics more than three times within 12 months, or more than one course of treatment in total if their productive lifecycle is less than one year, it cannot be sold as organic.