Dueling Corporate Interests Wait to See What the New Trump/Perdue Administration Will Do with the Pending Updates to Organic Animal Welfare Standards
Industry watchdog releases detailed analysis of pending rule
One of the pending regulations released in the final days of the Obama administration, and put on hold by the Trump White House, was an already controversial rule that pits legitimate family-scale organic farmers against the operators of “factory farms” that had already been accused of violating existing organic animal welfare standards. A newly released analysis by a prominent organic industry watchdog, The Cornucopia Institute, explains what is at stake and why economically powerful forces in organics are squawking, principally, over new space requirements proposed for chickens.
The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017, and amends current organic livestock and poultry production requirements. The new rule adds provisions for livestock handling, avian living conditions, and transport for slaughter, and expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices. It includes mandates for the care of cattle, hogs, and poultry.
“The new rulemaking was in response to a more than decade-long controversy about concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), or factory farms, confining as many as two million laying hens on a single ‘farm’ without the legally mandated access to the outdoors,” said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute. “This rule neither solves the problem nor makes any faction in the industry happy,” Kastel added.