Protect millions of animals on organic farms!
In January of 2017, the Obama administration issued a final rule that clarified and updated the animal welfare requirements of the "organic" label. The new rule included an array of housing, husbandry, and management standards for farm animals raised under the organic label, including banning certain cruel practices like tail docking of cattle, confining pigs to ultra-restrictive gestation crates, debeaking chickens and mulesing of sheep (cutting the skin from the back legs and rump). This was one of the most important rules to establish better living conditions for farm animals to ever come out of a federal agency. It would have helped millions of farm animals and was a huge win for our movement.
Unfortunately, under the Trump administration, the agency decided to ignore overwhelming public and organic industry support and withdrew the rule on March 13, 2018. Since then, we've been fighting the decision and pressuring the agency to reconsider. And now our efforts have paid off — the USDA, under the Biden administration, has proposed a new rule to codify these standards and protect millions of animals on organic farms. And we need your help to ensure they take the final step!
Sign now and tell Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to finalize the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards rule, to set basic animal welfare requirements under the Organic Foods Production Act.
Sign PetitionSign Petition
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
I am writing to urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finalize the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards rule to set basic animal welfare requirements for animals raised on organic farms. I was dismayed when the Trump administration decided to withdraw the original rule in March of 2018 after it had been finalized by the Obama administration. But I'm pleased that USDA is taking steps to right that wrong for the millions of animals raised on organic farms.
I support the language in the proposed rule covering an array of housing, husbandry, and management standards for farm animals raised under the organic label, including banning certain cruel practices like tail docking of cattle, confining pigs to gestation crates, debeaking chickens, and mulesing of sheep (cutting the skin from the back legs and rump). Also, setting meaningful indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry is an essential animal welfare requirement that should be maintained in the final rule.
I appreciate the agency's acknowledgment that giving pigs and other farm animals room to move "supports natural behaviors" and thus "may be positively associated with improved health and well-being, may be better for the environment, and may result in healthier livestock products for human consumption." I encourage the agency to include further clarification in the rule that intensive confinement of farm animals is harmful to public health and animal welfare.
It's critically important to make the organic certifying standards more closely align with consumer expectations of animal welfare standards at organic farms. A Consumer Reports survey found that 6 out of 10 Americans say it is highly important that animals used to produce organic food are raised on farms with high standards for animal welfare. And for consumers that always or often buy organic, 86% say it is highly important that animals used to produce organic food are raised on farms with high standards for animal welfare.
Please do the right thing for animals on organic farms and finalize this proposed rule swiftly.