New organic livestock standard draws praise

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has finalized standards for organic livestock production, with new rules on conditions and transportation.

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National News

November 6, 2023 - 3:58 PM

Photo by GRANT GERLOCK/HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has finalized its standard for organic livestock production. The new rule sets requirements for outdoor and indoor conditions as well as healthcare practices and transportation of animals.

“These changes are to support and promote the wellbeing of natural behaviors of organic livestock and poultry,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, the USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. “It’s really about establishing clear, strong and consistent standards for organic livestock production and handling.”

Various roadblocks delayed the new rule. The original standards were set in 2002, but in the years since, groups advocating for organic food companies, farmers and consumers have worked towards tightening language, particularly around the conditions that the animals are kept in.

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