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Organic Animal Welfare Rule is Further Delayed

Posted: May 11, 2016

Implementation of Organic Animal Welfare Rule is further delayed

The USDA has now delayed the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule for another six months, despite widespread support from diverse groups, including a coalition of over 300 organic livestock and poultry producers, a unanimous resolution from the National Organic Standards Board calling for immediate implementation, strong support from the organic trade, and a letter to Secretary Perdue from the Accredited Certifiers Association. A recent Consumer Reports survey has also found that the vast majority of consumers who often or always buy organic food say it’s highly important that animals used to produce these foods are raised on farms that have high animal welfare standards and give hens access to the outdoors.

The National Organic Coalition has long been fighting for the passage and implementation of the new rules, which represent more than a decade of work to clarify and improve animal welfare standards in organic.

In an announcement from the USDA, implementation of the new rules has been delayed until November 14, 2017. And in a separate proposed rule, the USDA will be seeking public comments on what course of action the USDA should take on the final Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule, from the following options:
  1. Let the rule become effective. This means the rule would become effective on November 14, 2017.
  2. Suspend the rule indefinitely. During the suspension, USDA could consider whether to implement, modify or withdraw the final rule.
  3. Delay the effective date of the rule further, beyond the effective date of November 14, 2017.
  4. Withdraw the rule so the USDA would not pursue implementation of the rule.
The comment period will last 30 days.

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