This paper describes the issues relating to the implementation of EC organic livestock standards and of the organic livestock principles, in new and pre-accession EU member states. The information was generated as part of an EU network project (SAFO: Sustaining Animal Health and Food Safety in Organic Farming) which focused on organic livestock production. The primary sources of information were five seminars (so-called Roadshows) in new member states, as well as contributions at the five main SAFO workshops, and through a questionnaire survey among participating partner countries. The main challenges to organic livestock production and welfare were identified as the lack of existing home markets for organic products, inappropriate housing conditions, non-availability of organic replacement breeding animals and feedstuffs and a lack of advisors and in particular veterinarians, with organic farming expertise. The challenges of implementing the standards and principles in the new and pre-accession EU member states are described and discussed, and future perspectives are outlined in order to meet future challenges and requirements.