April 19, 2016

USDA Issues Proposed Rule for Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices

As reported by the Associated Press on Yahoo! Finance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a proposed rule about organic livestock and poultry practices. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service sets and enforces standards for organic production. The proposed rule seeks to strengthen standards for organic livestock and poultry production by clarifying how producers and handlers must treat livestock and poultry to ensure their health and wellbeing throughout all phases of life. The proposed rule addresses four broad areas of organic livestock and poultry practices: living conditions, animal healthcare, transport, and slaughter. Among other things, the rules would ensure that (1) all livestock, including poultry, have enough space to lie down, turn around, stand up, and fully stretch their limbs; (2) beaks could not be removed and tails could not be cut; and (3) poultry houses have fresh air and ventilation.

Individuals and businesses engaged in the organic meat, egg, poultry, dairy, or animal fiber industries may be affected by the proposed rule, which is currently open for public comment. For more information, see this frequently asked questions document.