Organic meat is of excellent quality in terms of both taste and texture. Livestock is reared in a natural, traditional way. Grass and other feedstuffs used must be organic, and natural grazing is encouraged. Fewer animals are kept in a given area, and a mixture of species is reared where possible. Organic livestock rearing involves strict animal welfare standards, since most farmers agree that happy animals are healthy animals!
Crucially, growth hormones are prohibited, as is the routine use of antibiotics and other veterinary drugs commonly administered to non-organic animals. Antibiotics are only given to organic animals in cases of acute illness, when the animal might otherwise suffer. Where possible, homeopathic and herbal remedies are used.
Health concerns are of primary importance when it comes to organic livestock rearing. Genetic modification is not permitted, and the Soil Association banned the use of animal proteins in ruminant foods in 1983, long before the outbreak of the BSE crisis. Since the early 1980s, there has not been a single recorded case of BSE in any herd under full organic management.