USDA Organic Livestock Rule Creates Rift in the Farm Community

Rick Barrett reported yesterday at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online that, “A Trump administration decision aimed at scrapping higher animal welfare standards for organic poultry and meats, has created a rift in the farm community.

“At issue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has withdrawn its support for a rule that would have, among other things, required more outdoor space for hens on organic egg farms.

The rule would have closed a loophole in the current regulations that allows large poultry farms to use screened-in porches as outdoor access. It also would have prohibited some practices such as ‘tail docking’ where a cow’s tail is partially removed.”

The article stated that, “‘With USDA’s wise decision to withdraw this rule, organic livestock and poultry producers can rest assured that they will not be forced out of business by another costly and burdensome regulation,’ Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said in a statement.”

The Journal Sentinel article added that, “Yet some of the rule’s strongest supporters are in the $43 billion organic food industry, where Wisconsin is second only to California in production.

“Consumers expect higher animal welfare standards from organic agriculture, said John Brunnquell, founder and president of Egg Innovations that has a farm in Cedar Grove, north of Port Washington.

“‘This is about consumer confidence,’ Brunnquell said, adding that most people who buy organic eggs believe the chickens have access to the outdoors, fresh air, sunshine and a natural diet of things like bugs and worms.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.