Committee Reports

Comment Letter Regarding USDA Proposed Rule for Heightened Standards for Organically Raised Livestock and Poultry


The Animal Law Committee (Lori Barrett, Chair) submitted a comment letter on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s proposed rule which would provide heightened standards for the living conditions, physical alteration, medical care, handling, transport and slaughter of organically raised farm animals. The Committee supports the proposed rule because it would help establish consistent animal welfare standards for organically raised farm animals as well as satisfy consumer expectations that organically raised farm animals meet a uniform and verifiable animal welfare standard. Current regulations lack specificity with respect to housing, space requirements and outdoor access for avian species and other livestock, and do not prohibit inhumane physical alterations of animals. They also do not address the humane treatment of animals during transportation to sale or slaughter. The report supports the proposed rule and makes additional recommendations for both organic producers and organic slaughter facilities.