Trump USDA withdraws animal welfare regulation for organic farms, sparking backlash
The Agriculture Department has withdrawn regulations that would have required higher production standards for organic livestock and poultry beginning in May – known as the animal welfare rule – a move animal rights groups condemned as a "travesty" and an organization representing organic farmers and consumers called "unconscionable."
In the latest effort to rescind Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is doing away with a directive aimed at standardizing the way animals are treated on organic farms if their meat is being sold under a “certified organic” label. The rule was finalized in April 2016 and published in January 2017.
“A lack of clarity in organic livestock and poultry standards has led to inconsistent practices among organic producers,” according to a USDA fact sheet. “This action assures consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard by resolving the current ambiguity about outdoor access for poultry. It also establishes clear standards for raising, transporting, and slaughtering organic animals and birds.”