Today, Mercy For Animals submitted comments to the USDA urging the agency to implement the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule. The rule is the product of nearly a decade of work by animal welfare groups, consumers, and the organic industry itself to ensure that animal products labeled “organic meet certain basic standards for animal welfare. But the current administration has delayed the effective date of the rule, claiming that “further review is required. Now the USDA is considering whether to scrap the rule altogether. We won’t let them do that without a fight!
Please submit a comment using the USDA portal. Tell the USDA that you support the rule and don’t want it delayed any longer. You can leave the following message or a polite comment of your own:
“As an American, I demand the organic animal welfare rule go into effect immediately. The final Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule was the product of years of input from policy makers, consumers, retailers, and producers. The final rule sets standards for organic products that match the expectations of consumers like me who wish to see the lives of the millions of animals used in the organic industry improved. Don’t sell out consumers and farmers to Big Ag. Let the rule go into effect.
Contrary to popular belief, the organic industry currently has no meaningful standards for animal care. So meat, dairy, and egg products sold with the USDA’s organic label can come from animals who were mutilated by having their toes and beaks cut off, confined in cramped and unhygienic living conditions, and kept from stepping foot outside until they were transported to the slaughterhouse.
The new rule would alleviate the suffering of the 22 million animals in the organic food industry by setting clear and consistent standards for treatment; limiting intensive confinement; prohibiting some of the cruelest industry practices, such as dehorning and cutting off toes and beaks; and requiring that animals—including chickens—have access to the outdoors.
Many polls show that the overwhelming majority of consumers believe that the organic label should mean better treatment of animals. A recent Consumer Reports survey found that 86 percent of organic food consumers believe it is very important that any food labeled organic ensure high animal welfare standards. The same survey found that 83 percent of organic food consumers want to buy only eggs from hens raised in free, open spaces. Clearly, buyers of organic food believe in treating farmed animals well.
We urge you to speak up to the USDA on behalf of these 22 million animals. But the best way to protect all farmed animals from needless cruelty is to leave them off our plates. Click here to learn how you can switch to a delicious and compassionate plant-based diet.