Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Organic Animal Welfare Rules Delayed, Giving Opponents Hope

Implementation of the rules has been pushed back thanks to President Donald Trump’s “regulatory freeze.”

Meat and egg labels can be crammed with claims about how animals are raised. Many are not backed by formal government definitions.

Is organic meat more humane than conventionally raised meat?

Rules that would create animal welfare standards for livestock certified as organic have been delayed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday, giving opponents new hope that they will be quashed.

The standards were in the works for years, but not released until the final full day of President Barack Obama’s term. Now, implementation of the rules has been pushed back thanks to President Donald Trump’s “regulatory freeze.” Originally slated to take effect March 20, they are now scheduled to be implemented May 19.

As our Grant Gerlock reported in September, many organic producers have endorsed the rules, which would allow them to market organic meat as being more humane. Conventional farm organizations, however, charge that folding humane standards into the federally run organic program would amount to unfair government backing of the organic industry.

The Organic Trade Association is maintaining steadfast support for the rules.

“We urge the USDA to avoid further delays and to allow this new effective date to stand as published,” it said in a post on its website.

Many of the largest livestock groups are still fighting, however. When the rules were initially published in January, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said the “Obama Administration has bowed to the whims and demands of animal activists rather than talking to the industry as a whole to see what is best for the program and for consumers.”

Harvest Public Media

Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Harvest covers these agriculture-related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media