Action Alert: Tell USDA to Protect Organic Animal Welfare

May 25th, 2017

Don’t Let Politicians and Factory Livestock Interests Undermine the Public Partnership that Has Been the Hallmark of Organic Rulemaking

Incremental Improvements in Organic Livestock Regulations Need to Go into Effect

The USDA is requesting your input at this critical juncture to determine whether the organic livestock rule should be scrapped or become effective as planned. Help us protect the integrity of the public organic rulemaking process by making these rules effective now.

The new Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule should have been effective on March 20, but it has been delayed by the Trump administration until at least November 14. The USDA is now asking the public to revisit the already approved rule to decide whether it should become effective, be tabled, or be discarded altogether. Congress has, inappropriately, threatened to intervene as well.

The pending rule requires at least a small amount of outdoor access for poultry and improves some management practices for other types of livestock. It is essential that the practice of allowing “porches” to qualify as outdoor access for organic laying hens be ended – and this rule would be a strong step in the right direction.

While Cornucopia feels that the proposed rule is weak, to scrap it at this point would undermine the power of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that created and approved the rule after a years-long process that included public participation.

Add your support to the option of letting the rule become effective to preserve the power of the public process that undergirds the NOSB.

Post your comments online today — deadline is 11:59PM (ET), Friday, June 9.

  1. Go to the comment form at regulations.gov.
  2. Either write directly in the space provided, or cut and paste your comments, or attach a separate document. Tell the USDA: “I support option 1: Let the rule become effective. I also support The Cornucopia Institute’s detailed commentary submitted on these issues.” Add a personal comment explaining why this issue is important to you as an organic consumer or farmer, and include the docket number somewhere in your comment: AMS-NOP-17-0031; NOP-15-06A.
  3. Alternatively, you can mail your comments to the below address, ensuring that they will be received on or before June 9. Make sure to include the docket number somewhere in your comment: AMS-NOP-17-0031; NOP-15-06A.

Paul Lewis, Ph.D., Director
Standards Division, National Organic Program
USDA-AMS-NOP
1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2642-So., Ag Stop 0268
Washington, DC 20250-0268

If you are an organic livestock farmer or rancher, or are involved in the industry, please be sure to mention that. Comments from organic consumers are vitally important too, especially if you tell regulators why you care.

To learn more about these issues, read Cornucopia’s comments on the draft rule and commentary on this final rule for the Organic livestock Standards.

Comments due in Washington on June 9 by 11:59PM ET

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