USDA Standard to Focus on Well-Being of Animals

The USDA issued a rule standardizing animal welfare practices. (WHO-HD)

The USDA issued a rule standardizing animal welfare practices. (WHO-HD)

United States  —  The Department of Agriculture is releasing new standards on organic meat and eggs.

Federal officials say the new rules focus on the well-being of the animals and may help customers make choices at the supermarket.

The USDA released a final rule standardizing what many organic farmers do already. The rule ensures animals used to produce meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs are raised on farms with standards for animal welfare. This includes the amount of space on which they are raised.

The fact that most farmers already follow this rule coupled with increasing demand for organic products leads organic grocers to believe the new standards will not result in price increases.

Customers say over the years the manner in which the animals are raised has played more of a role in helping decide what food they want to purchase.