USDA: Don't Remove Protections for Animals On Organic Farms

On December 18, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would seek to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule, known as the "Organics Rule." 40 million animals in the organic food industry will now be left vulnerable.

The Organics Rule strengthens and clarifies livestock production standards, creating a level playing field for rural farmers while protecting the integrity of the USDA Organic seal.

If implemented, the rule would have banned painful practices such as de-beaking and tail docking, and would have limited how tightly animals could be housed at farms. Transporting animals too sick or injured would have been prohibited also. 

Without this rule, factory farmers will be able to continue tricking the public by simply saying that their products are organic and charging higher prices – without adopting stronger welfare standards. For consumers, this is a deep betrayal, as the vast majority believe products labeled organic require higher animal welfare standards. And for small and family organic producers trying to compete with industrial-style factories, it is simply unfair.

The Organics Rule has been under consideration for more than ten years and was approved with overwhelming support from organic livestock producers and consumers alike. We cannot stand by and allow the USDA to bow to Big Ag and quietly scuttle a program that every key stakeholder in the organic space wanted.

Sign the petition and demand the USDA not withdraw the Organics Rule and protect animals, farmers, and consumers.
Subject line: Do not withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule

Dear Decisionmaker,

I am writing to urge you protect animals, farmers, and consumers by not withdrawing the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule.

This rule strengthens and clarifies livestock production standards, and creates a level playing field for rural farmers while protecting the integrity of the USDA Organic seal.

It would update and strengthen animal welfare standards under the organic label—such as limiting tail docking of cows and beak clipping of chickens, giving chickens access to the outdoors, and requiring that indoor spaces give animals enough room to turn around and stretch their limbs.

Without this rule, factory farmers will be able to continue tricking the public by simply saying that their products are organic and charging higher prices – without adopting stronger welfare standards. For consumers, this is a deep betrayal, as the vast majority believe products labeled organic require higher animal welfare standards. And for small and family organic producers trying to compete with industrial-style factories, it is simply unfair.

The Organics Rule has been under consideration for more than ten years and has was approved with overwhelming support from organic livestock producers and consumers alike.

For the sake of animals, farmers and consumers, do not withdraw the Organics Rule.

[Your Comment]

Thank you,

[Your Name]
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