Ag Department kills animal welfare rule for organic meat
New rules that would have required organic meat and egg producers to abide by stricter animal welfare standards were withdrawn by the federal government on Monday
DES MOINES, IA (AP) -
New rules, decades in the making, that would have required organic meat and egg producers to abide by stricter animal welfare standards were withdrawn by the federal government on Monday, frustrating organic farmers and animal welfare groups but leaving some traditional egg and livestock farm groups rejoicing.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule exceeds the department's statutory authority. The rule was published by former President Barack Obama's Agriculture Department two days before he left office in January 2017. The administration of Donald Trump has repeatedly delayed implementing the rule and had signaled that it might never move forward with it.
The regulation was designed to ensure that organically grown livestock had enough space to lie down, turn around, stand up and fully stretch. It also prohibited removal of chicken beaks and cutting cattle tails and required improved living conditions including fresh air, proper ventilation and direct sunlight.
Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts in a statement echoed some in the livestock industry who said the rule would increase the paperwork burden and drive up the cost of production for farmers and ranchers.