USDA to Withdraw Organic Livestock Rule

The USDA announced its intent to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule.

The final rule would have amended the organic livestock and poultry production requirements in the USDA organic regulations by adding new provisions for livestock handling, transport for slaughter, and avian living conditions. It would have also expanded and clarified existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) says it is disappointed, claiming the rule would have improved the consistency and integrity of organic livestock practices.

NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew says, “This is a very disappointing decision by USDA, both for American family farmers and for consumers. Currently, we have too much inconsistency in how organic certifiers apply animal welfare standards to farming and ranching operations. This, in turn, endangers the organic label’s integrity and leads to consumer confusion. The OLPP rule would have helped mitigate these concerns by standardizing organic livestock and poultry practices for the voluntary National Organic Program."

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) came out in favor of the move, claiming there were animal and public health concerns and that it would have added complexity and challenges to organic producers.

NPPC President Ken Maschoff says, "We'd like to thank Sec. Perdue and the Trump administration for listening to our concerns with the rule and recognizing the serious challenges it would have presented our producers."

The OLPP rule was originally supposed to go into effect on November 14th.