USDA likely to reinstate organic animal welfare protections

The USDA has announced that it will be reinstating animal welfare standards on farms producing organic meat governed by the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule.
calendar icon 21 June 2021
clock icon 5 minute read

The OLPP was rolled back in January 2017 under the Trump administration as part of broad de-regulation efforts.

The OLPP rule would have increased federal regulation of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers. It specified that organic farmers should provide more space for pigs and broilers and outdoor access for laying hens and broiler chickens.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement regarding the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule:

“We intend to reconsider the prior Administration’s interpretation that the Organic Foods Production Act does not authorize USDA to regulate the practices that were the subject of the 2017 Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule.

“I have directed the National Organic Program to begin a rulemaking to address this statutory interpretation and to include a proposal to disallow the use of porches as outdoor space in organic production over time and on other topics that were the subject of the OLPP final rule. We anticipate sending the proposed rule to OMB within six to nine months from the date of the remand. We look forward to receiving public comments on those topics and, after reviewing the comments, USDA will publish a final rule.”

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