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United States Department of Agriculture Publishes Standards for Organic Livestock and Poultry Production; Tom Vilsack Details

United States Department of Agriculture Publishes Standards for Organic Livestock and Poultry Production; Tom Vilsack Details


WASHINGTON, DC
Thursday, October 26th, 2023

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently previewed the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) final rule. This change was driven by strong interest from consumers and the organic industry.

Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture“USDA is creating a fairer, more competitive, and transparent food system. This organic poultry and livestock standard establishes clear and strong standards that will increase the consistency of animal welfare practices in organic production and in how these practices are enforced,” said Vilsack. “Competitive markets help deliver greater value to all producers, regardless of size.”

This new rule helps establish standards for organic livestock and poultry production; levels the playing field for organic livestock farmers, ranchers, and businesses; and promotes fairer, more competitive markets for their products while providing consumers with more transparency about their purchases.

As noted in the release, OLPS improves uniformity with regard to animal welfare practice requirements for organic livestock and poultry, promoting their well-being and natural behaviors.

United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently previewed the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards final rule

The final rule outlines more consistent standards for six key areas, including:

  • Outdoor space requirements
  • Indoor and outdoor living conditions
  • Poultry stocking densities
  • Preventative healthcare practices
  • Physical alterations and euthanasia
  • Transport, handling, and slaughter

In partnership with USDA-accredited certifiers, the organization’s National Organic Program will oversee the implementation of and enforce compliance with these new, more consistent standards to support the growth of the organic market.

Implementing OLPS will give organic livestock and poultry farmers, ranchers, and businesses—including those interested in transitioning to organic—more opportunities to compete fairly in the market. The rule supports ongoing consumer confidence and trust in the USDA organic seal by better aligning the organic standards with consumers’ expectations for animal welfare. Many consumers are willing to pay a premium for organic livestock products, particularly for the organic chicken, egg, and meat industry. Additionally, USDA is helping to deliver greater value to producers and creating a fairer, more competitive and transparent food system.

The organization’s National Organic Program will oversee the implementation of and enforce compliance with these new, more consistent standards to support the growth of the organic market

The final rule is the biggest update to the organic regulations since the original Act in 1990, providing a significant increase in oversight and enforcement authority to reinforce the trust of consumers, farmers, and those transitioning to organic production.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register. A preview of the rule is available on the AMS website, and more information can be found here.

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United States Department of Agriculture
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