An investigation of organic sheep and goat production by nomad pastoralists in southern Iran

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The nomadic pastoralist system in Baft district in Kerman province is well known in Iran for producing cashmere from Raeini goats. However, there is little information regarding the organic sheep and goat production systems. Interviews and field observations were carried out with 30 Siahjel nomad families of Raen origin in proximity of Baft city to characterize the organic production system in terms of feeding, animal health and veterinary treatments, husbandry management practices, transport, slaughtering and housing. Unimproved rangeland was found to be the main source of sheep and goat nutrition belonging to nomads in southern Iran. Nomad livestock were not fed in stables or in restricted areas but moved and grazed freely in extensive open grazing areas. As a nomadic traditional feeding management practice, there were no minerals, vitamins, pro-vitamins or GMOs for animal feed. Nomad sheep and goat breeds were considered to be robust, adapted to the environment and disease-tolerant livestock. In the nomadic system, no animal cruelty practices such as tail ducking, dehorning and tethering were allowed. To keep ruminants in groups to meet their social needs, nomad families stayed and kept animals together to support each other in different livestock activities, including shepherding, feeding, milking and health care. Due to natural breeding in nomadic herds, the male breeding stock was kept and grazed separately from does during the breeding season. Nomadic livestock products, i.e. meat, milk, wool, could be labelled organic after making local studies, surveillance, regulation and certification.




Ansari-Renani, H. R. (2016). An investigation of organic sheep and goat production by nomad pastoralists in southern Iran. Pastoralism, 6(1).

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