USDA proposes withdrawing organic animal welfare rule

Dec. 18, 2017 - by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
The proposal is based on the grounds that OLPP exceeds USDA’s authority.

WASHINGTON- The US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a proposed rule to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule. OLPP was published on Jan. 19, 2017. The grounds for the proposed withdraw are that the rule exceeded the USDA’s own rule-making authority. The OLPP rule was to set welfare standards in organic agriculture and was widely supported by the organic industry as well as animal welfare, environmental, and consumer organizations, according to a statement from Friends of the Earth.

Lisa Archer, Director of the Food and Agriculture Program at Friends of the Earth, issued a response directed at the current administration:

“Trump’s decision to cave to a handful of powerful agribusiness interests by scrapping the organic animal welfare rule is a slap in the face to organic farmers and to the millions of consumers who have put their trust into the organic label. Congress must step up to stop Trump’s attack on organic.”

According to a statement from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) USDA hadn’t expressed its concern about its rule-making authority until the most recent delay of OLPP last month. ASPCA also stated that when the final rule was introduced in January of this year, USDA affirmed that it had the authority to exercise the rule making.