May 2005 No. 2


Results and updates

First Delphi Expert Survey on organic food processing

Report on organic rodent control strategies

QLIF Congress 2005

Health in focus

Consumer issues

Product quality and health

Crop production system

Livestock production system

Processing strategies

Related projects

Organic HACCP

Blight MOP

QLIF Notes

Congress in DK 2006

PhD summer school

PhD seminar on soil quality



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Report on rodent control strategies on organic farms

An international seminar on rodent control strategies in organic farming was held on 26-28 May 2004 in Wageningen, the Netherlands.

The report contains nine papers from the seminar.

Problems related to organic farming

Rodent management on organic farms is especially important for two reasons. Firstly, organic livestock with outdoor access are exposed to closer contact with rodents implying larger veterinary risks. Secondly, the traditional control methods such as the use of poison do not fit with the philosophy of organic farming.

International seminar

To address and discuss the issues of rodent management and control strategies on organic pig and poultry farms in Western Europe, an international seminar was held on 26-28 May 2004 in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The issues of rodent management was discussed in relation to the principles of organic farming, food safety, animal health, efficacy, costs and animal welfare and suffering.

Take-home message

The take-home message was that effective management requires a thorough understanding of the ecology of the rodent species. Based on this ecological understanding, a rodent management strategy can be designed consisting of prevention, monitoring and control. From an organic perspective, most efforts should be invested in prevention and monitoring. Organic farmers should select a solution that guarantees food safety and healthy livestock.

Seminar papers

The international seminar resulted in nine papers dealing with issues like Salmonella infections in outdoor pig production, Campylobacter as the main risk on organic broiler farms, risk factors for farm animals to become infected with Toxoplasma gondii and factors correlated with the presence of rodents in outdoor pig farms among other issues. Furthermore, results from ecologically-based rodent management in lowland irrigated rice crops was presented and a health management system for organic sow herds was suggested based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (the HACCP system).

The papers are all published in the report "Rodent control strategies in organic farming" (NJAS vol. 52, No.2) in November 2004.

Seminar papers:

  • Rodenburg et al. 2004. Campylobacter and Salmonella infections in organic broiler farms.

  • Jensen et al. 2004. High diversity of Salmonella serotypes found in an experiment with outdoor pigs.

  • Kijlstra et al. 2004. Animal-friendly production systems may cause re-emergence of Toxoplasma gondii.

  • Bonde & Sørensen 2004. Herd health management in organic pig production using a quality assurance system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.

  • Leirs et al. 2004. Factors correlated with the presence of rodents on outdoor pig farms in Denmark and suggestions for management strategies.

  • Singleton et al. 2004. Ecologically-based rodent management; its effectiveness in cropping systems in South-East Asia

  • Pelz & Klemann 2004. Rat control strategies in organic pig and poultry production wiuth special reference to rodenticide resistance and feeding behaviour.

  • Endepols & Klemann 2004. Rats and the placement of rodenticide baits for their eradication on indoor livestock farms

  • Meerburg et al. 2004. Towards sustainable management of rodents in organic animal husbandry

For further information or preprints of the articles please contact Prof. dr. Aize Kijlstra, Animal Sciences Group, Wageningen UR.