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USDA unveils upgraded organic livestock standards

In a significant move, the USDA has rolled out its Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) final rule, ensuring an enhanced welfare standard for organic animals. 

Tom Vilsack stated this rule would create a more transparent and competitive organic livestock market. It is a response to overwhelming feedback, with the USDA having received 40,000+ comments from the public. 

Here's what the OLPS covers: 

  • Outdoor Requirements: Organic poultry must have specific outdoor space, primarily comprising 75% soil. 

  • Animal Comfort: Livestock shelters are designed to promote natural behaviors and ensure comfort. 

  • Stocking Rules: Defined guidelines for poultry stocking both indoors and outdoors. 

  • Health Measures: Emphasis on prevention. All necessary health interventions must be undertaken, even if it affects the organic tag. 

  • Alterations & Euthanasia: Strict rules on physical changes to animals, with the focus on reducing pain. Euthanasia remains a final measure. 

  • Transit and Slaughter: Regulations set for long-duration transport, emphasizing seasonal appropriateness. 

The introduction of OLPS is a game-changer. It not only ensures fairness in the organic market but also builds upon consumer trust in the USDA organic seal.

Recognizing the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for organic products, this initiative assures them their values align with organic practices. This initiative reinforces the stature of USDA-certified organic products in both the domestic and international markets. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection

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