Take action on organic animal welfare: comment deadline is January 17

In January of 2017, the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule was finalized. 

But now, after repeated delays, the Trump Administration is planning to kill the new rules before they go into effect!

These new standards are essential for the integrity of organic. 

Consumers who choose organic eggs, poultry, and meat expect organic farmers to raise their animals in the healthiest conditions possible with real outdoor access. And farmers and ranchers who choose to follow organic standards expect a level playing field. 

We need your help! We need to flood USDA with comments to let them know that we oppose this action to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule!

Submit a comment to USDA now. 

Be sure to include Docket # AMS-NOP-15-0012; NOP-15-06 in your comment.

The comment deadline is January 17.

Use these talking points or contact the National Organic Coalition to receive a sample comment that you can use as a template:

  1. State clearly that as an organic producer, handler, or consumer you oppose USDA’s action to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. 
  2. Say who you are, where you are from, and share some details about your farm, ranch, or business.
  3. These standards are critical to preserving trust in the organic label. If consumers see that the standards for poultry and livestock products are not consistent across operations, consumer confidence in the organic label overall will be negatively impacted.
  4. The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule has widespread support from the industry and a full spectrum of stakeholders. It is the result of more than a decade of work on the part of the National Organic Standards Board and organic community. 
  5. The USDA has received thousands of comments in support of letting the rule move forward without further delays. During the last comment period, 99 percent of commenters asked the USDA to let the rule go into effect as written without further delays. 
  6. This attempt to withdraw the animal care standards was done without consultation form the National Organic Standards Board- the very group of farmers, processors, scientists, and public representatives designated by Congress to advise USDA on organic standards. 
  7. The majority of organic livestock farmers already comply with these rules. Farmers who already adhere to high standards are being undercut because of loopholes that allow a small number of producers to deny meaningful outdoor access to animals.  

Unique comments are far better than form letters, but if you don’t have five minutes to craft a unique comment to USDA, then please take just one minute to submit a form letter created by the Organic Trade Association.

The Organic Trade Association has also compiled a toolkit to help you take action and engage your networks.

NOC urges everyone to submit a unique comment to express your strong support for the organic animal welfare regulations before the deadline on January 17, 2018.