Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is very important for KRAV. It is one of the areas where the KRAV Standards are stricter that the EU regulations for organic production. The KRAV Standards also cover more than the requirements in the Swedish Animal Welfare Act.


The starting point for KRAV-certified animal husbandry is respect for the natural needs of animals with regard to their behaviour, feed and habitat. They should be provided with the opportunity to live as naturally as possible. Therefore, animals on a KRAV-certified farm can spend a lot of time outdoors and grazing. This provides fodder, natural activity and contributes to strong and healthy animals. This applies not only to dairy and meat animals, but also to pigs and chickens.

On a KRAV-certified farm, all animals have free access to roughage such as hay and silage. Fodder must to a great extent be KRAV-certified – grown without artificial chemical pesticides and primarily grown on the farm. Therefore, in order to have KRAV-certified animal husbandry, farms must also have KRAV-certified crop production.

Animal housing must provide sufficient space for the movement needs of the animals, and all housing must have windows that provide daylight throughout the building. Most of the time animals must be able to stay in groups in order to express their normal social behaviour, but when giving birth, it is natural for mother animals to remove themselves from the group. Therefore, the KRAV Standards exceed the EU regulation and provide for the privacy of cows, ewes and sows during and for a period of time after childbirth . It is important for a new-born animal to suckle from their mother and get colostrum. Laying hens must also be provided with the opportunity for privacy when laying.

strategic plan to promote good health in animals

The animals of a KRAV-certified farmer must not be routinely medicated (such medication causes bacteria to become resistant to medication). Instead animals should be taken care of so that they stay healthy. KRAV-certified farmers must also have a strategic plan to promote good health in their animals. Sick animals should be treated as quickly as possible. Once medicated, a certain amount of time must pass before milk or animals can be delivered as KRAV-certified. This waiting period is twice as long as for conventional farms.

During operations such as castration and dehorning, animals should receive both anaesthesia and pain relief, and there are special standards for the handling of animals during slaughter. Slaughter must be carried out in as calm an environment as possible and in KRAV-certified slaughterhouses that are adapted to the needs and behaviour of the animals – preferably in the immediate vicinity of the farm.

KRAV even has animal welfare standards that must be complied with and verified for imported meat products that will be KRAV-labelled. These animals must have had the opportunity to behave in as natural a manner as possible, for example, birthing in private, and their young must have had the opportunity to suckle the first day or days after birth. All animals should have had access to grazing during the growing season.

For example, slaughter animals for products certified according to the USDA organic standards mustcome from organically certified mothers, and exporters of meat products must be able to show that the products come from farms where calves were not kept in solitary boxes after two months of age.

Animal Welfare Facts

  • Only 2% of all pigs raised in Sweden are provided with access to the outdoors. On a KRAV-certified farm, all pigs have year round outdoor access and in the summer they can graze and root in real soil.
  • Only 1% of all chickens raised in Sweden are raised according to the EU organic regulations. All KRAV-labelled chickens are raised with especially strict animal welfare requirements.
  • Conventional steers bred for slaughter have often been kept indoors most of their lives. On a KRAV-certified farm, steers are allowed to graze.
  • Conventionally farmed animals receive feed that has been grown with artificial chemical pesticides and fertilizers. On KRAV-certified farms, the animals receive feed grown without artificial chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Instead, crops are fertilized with manure, and a large part is cultivated on the farm.