IAHA - Animal Husbandry Alliance

IAHA is an informal network of individuals and organizations interested in inspiring, supporting and strengthening the development of organic animal husbandry. It is the animal husbandry 'think tank' of the IFOAM - Organics International Action Group.


The General Assembly of IFOAM - Organics International in Korea in October 2011 recommended that animal husbandry be given more emphasis in IFOAM-Organics International through a worldwide platform to address animal health and welfare, breeding techniques, feeding (e.g. roughage versus concentrates) and related issues.

A group of interested individuals, supported by the IFOAM World Board, then began to organize and, at the end of November 2012, the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA) became approved by the IFOAM World Board.


IAHA allows IFOAM Affiliates to share organic animal husbandry knowledge, concerns, positions, and issues and integrate them into the work of IFOAM - Organics International and the organic movement. 

 Its most recent contributions included:
- Offering a platform for researchers, advisors and farmers as well as other interested persons to speak and be heard by organising a Pre-Conference on Animal Husbandry linked to the Organic World Congress.
- Organising a workshop on organic livestock development issues at the OWC.
- Drafting policy recommendations for the organic sector and movement on how to support and develop animal husbandry for the General Assembly of IFOAM.

IAHA would like to become more active in supporting organic livestock producers through increased advocacy and input into IFOAM decision making. We would also like to facilitate learning opportunities at farmer , institution and organisation levels and be in a position to provide recommendations to stakeholders in the organic movement.Want to get involved?

Simply fill out the IAHA-Questionnaire to join the community and receive IAHA's newsletters.


IAHA Pre-Conference “Organic Animal Husbandry Systems” on 21-22nd September 202, linked to the IFOAM Organic World Congress (OWC):

postponed to 6th and to 7th September 2021, including the planned farm tours before the Pre-Conference

Due to the Corona Virus situation, the organizers of the IFOAM Organic World Congress have decided to postpone the OWC to September 8-10 2021, with pre conferences September 6th and 7th.

IAHA will not organise physically a pre-conference in September 2020 nor offer excursions.

The IAHA organising committee has decided continue with the review process of papers and want to publish proceedings in September 2020.

For the time being, we maintain the dates for some form of virtual exchange (21-22-Sept. 2020), in whatever form it will be. More information will be available in May 2020.

We appreciate creative ideas and reflections about the alternatives to a physical meeting (video conference, webinar, etc.). What should be the focus of such virtual meeting, that we still can have an exchange of experiences but do also not make the postponed Pre-Conference in Sept. 2021 less attractive.

Please send your feedback by email to Otto Schmid, FiBL Switzerland, chair of IAHA-Pre-Conference: otto.schmid [at] fibl.org">otto.schmid [at] fibl.org

Latest newsletter of IAHA 2019

October 2019 

In this newsletter you will find the reminder about the deadlines for submitting contributions to both, the Science Forum at the Organic World Congress 2020 in Rennes, France and the IAHA Pre-Conference. There is also more detailed information about the Pre-Conference itself.



IAHA Organic Animal Husbandry Pre-Conference on 6-8 November 2017, Ghaziabad, India

On 7 and 8 November 2017, the pre-conference "Role of livestock in sustainable agriculture" took place as a preconference of the Organic World Congress (9-11 of Nov. 2017) in Dehli, India. More than 80 persons participated.

Co-organiser of this event were the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI), the National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF) in India, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI under ICAR), the Indian livestock development & ethno-veterinary group ANTHRA and IFOAM - Organics International.

Here you can download:

the proceedings of the Pre-Conference 2017 with more than 40 papers in different thematic sessions 

- the presentations of the key note speakers:

o Prof. Emeritius Donald M. Broom (University of Cambridge, UK): “Sustainability: the role of animal welfare and silvopastoral systems”

o Prof. Raymond Auerbach (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa): “Integrating sustainable and organic animal husbandry with efficient resource use in Africa”.

o Dr. Florian Leiber, (head of the animal research department at FiBL) gave a key note speech on “The sustainability dilemma in livestock feeding”

On 6th November 2017 a workshop on the use of Ayurveda and traditional medicinal plants for animal health was organised by Nitya Ghotge, supported with presentations from: 

- Angela Escosteguy (Brazil) 
- Dr. Marion Johnson (New Zealand)

A presentation on Veterinary Ayurveda – Theories and Practices from Dr Kumar S. K., Dr MNB Nair & Dr Punniamurthy N.  (TransDisciplinary University, India) can be downloaded here.

In this short summary report about the Pre-Conference and the medicinal plants for animal care more photos can be found.

Recommendations for development and research  for organic animal husbandry have been formulated and were discussed during the Pre-Conference and in a separate workshop at the Organic World Congress. 


The IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference, September 2012, in Hamburg

The inaugural meeting of what became the IAHA occurred during the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference, September 2012, in Hamburg. At the conference, a questionnaire was distributed to participants

to gather animal husbandry concerns in different parts of the world. See the results of the first IAHA questionnaire.


IAHA organized several activities during the 18th IFOAM Organic World Congress OWC in Istanbul, October 12-15 2014.In the picture: IAHA Board members (from left to right): Chris Atkinson (UK), Mahesh Chander (India), Angela Escosteguy (Brazil), Otto Schmid (Switzerland) and François Labelle (Canada)

IAHA organized an OWC pre-conference on organic animal husbandry and a workshop session, where the focus was on drafting an International Action Plan for the development and strengthening of Organic Animal Husbandry from 2014-2017. The proceedings and outcomes of the IAHA Pre-conference and workshop session at OWC can be downloaded from here: 


The final Position Paper Compatibility of Breeding techniques in Organic Systems has been accepted by the General Assembly of IFOAM in India on 12th of Nov. 2017. Although this is not a paper of IAHA it is of general interest, as the IFOAM position paper deals also with techniques for animal breeding.

Steering group

Otto Schmid ( Switzerland): otto.schmid [at] fibl.org

Angela Escosteguy (Brazil): angela [at] ibembrasil.org

Chris Atkinson (UK): catkinson [at] soilassociation.org

Mahesh Chander (India): mahesh64 [at] email.com

Muazzez Cömert Acar(Turkey): muazzezcomert35 [at] gmail.com

Marion Johnson (New Zealand): marion.johnson [at] actrix.co.nz

François Labelle (Canada): flabelle [at] valacta.com

to contact IAHA

Please use this email for all your enquires regarding the Alliance: iaha [at] ifoam.org (body: iaha%40ifoam.org)

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