The Trump administration announced in late December plans to reject humane-treatment regulations of cage-free chickens that were proposed during the previous administration. This reversal doesn’t come as a huge surprise since the USDA repeatedly delayed the enforcement of those regulations.
In April 2016, the National Organic Program, under Obama’s administration, proposed a new rule called the “Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices” (OLPP) rule. The rule would require basic animal welfare for a food producer to receive the organic label. The OLPP rules state that animals need to have the ability to sit, walk, stretch out, and stand up without having to be in contact with another animal or the walls of the enclosure. The animals require year-round access to the outdoors, which has to include space with nature like plants and soil.
For more on what this means for organic eggs, check out “Why the hell am I paying more for this?” Major egg operation houses “USDA Organic” hens at three per square foot.
The agribusiness industry is generally opposed to OLPP because the proposed rules would have forced chicken factories to make expensive changes. Not surprisingly, animal welfare groups are furious,
The Obama administration’s rules for animal welfare under the National Organic Program set basic, common sense standards that not only alleviated the most egregious suffering of animals, but also aligned the actual standards in the $30 billion organics industry with consumer expectations of how cows, pigs, and chickens are treated.” – Vandhana Bala, general counsel for Mercy for Animals
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- Trump Administration Cuts Law Designed to Ensure Organic Animal Welfare – Modern Farmer
- Trump Administration Runs Afoul on the Organic Animal Welfare Rule – Huffington Post