In Harmony with Nature
Landscape conservation and tradition
Over the centuries Austria´s agriculture and forestry have not only been the backbone of a rural countryside with a good quality of life, but also one of the pillars of the historical and cultural traditions of the country. At the same time, agriculture´s extensive achievements for the benefit of Austrian society have made it an indispensable component of the national economy.
Small but mighty
Austria´s agriculture is characterised by its small and medium-sized farms. About 190,000 agricultural and forestry enterprises farm about 80% of the country. The average size of a farmstead is just under 19 hectares of agricultural acreage and the average livestock per hectare is very low in international comparison.
Austria's pioneering role
It is precisely the transparent structure of Austrian agriculture that provides a host of opportunities: this has seen Austria taking an increasingly prominent pioneering role in dealing with natural resources within the EU countries. Austria lives up to this image with the high environmental standards prevailing in agricultural production, the high proportion of farmers that have adopted organic farming methods, modern animal transport regulations and the farming community´s commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the Austrian landscape.
Responsible livestock breeding
A further characteristic of livestock breeding in Austria is the rigorous regulations for the protection of animals. The farmers are obligated to keep animals in conditions suitable to the respective needs of the different animals. The natural production conditions prevailing in Austria ensure that Austrian producers of milk and meat enjoy an excellent image. Farming methods in harmony with man and nature, breeding know-how, a high sense of responsibility as well as the farmer's hard work form the basis of the high quality of Austrian meat.
Inspected meat from healthy animals
In Austria high health and hygienic standards start with livestock breeding. Strict regulations provide for constant veterinary supervision of farm animal stocks. In order to enable Austria to keep its high standard the European Commission even conceded additional protective veterinary regulations (what are known as National Guarantees). Thus, animal diseases and epidemics do not stand a chance. Animals are bred in a healthy environment without any danger of infection or chemical and pharmaceutical additives.For many years, strict import restrictions as well as a ban on using animal organs in feed for ruminates have kept Austrian beef safe from BSE - Austria took BSE-prevention measures long before the EU followed its example. And until now there has not been a single case of BSE in Austria (BSE - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or "Mad Cow Disease").
Top image: © Österreich Werbung/ Reiberger