Thursday, May 12, 2016

Organic Livestock and Poultry Production Requirements Proposal Open for Comments

On April 7, 2016, the USDA announced a proposal amending the organic livestock and poultry production requirements, in order to ensure consistent application of the USDA organic regulations for organic livestock and poultry operations and maintain confidence in organically labeled products. The proposed changes are based on recommendations by the National Organic Standards Board and incorporate years of public comment and suggestions by stakeholders. The total retail market for organic products is now valued at more than $39 billion in the United States. AMS reported that from 2014 to 2015, the sector grew by 12 percent.

As shown in the info graphic, the proposal:

  • Clarifies how producers and handlers must treat livestock and poultry to ensure their health and wellbeing throughout life, including transport and slaughter.
  • Specifies which physical alterations are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production.
  • Establishes minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry.

There is a 60-day comment period for this proposal. For instructions on how to comment, go here.