USDA Publishes New Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday previewed the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards final rule. USDA says the new rule establishes clear, strong and consistent standards for organic livestock and poultry production, levels the playing field for organic livestock farmers, ranchers and businesses and promotes fairer, more competitive markets for their products, while providing consumers with more transparency about their purchases.

Vilsack says, “USDA is creating a fairer, more competitive and transparent food system.” Strong interest from consumers and the organic industry drove the change. USDA encouraged the public to comment, and USDA received more than 40,000 written comments, all of which were carefully reviewed to inform drafting of this final rule. USDA also held a listening session in August 2022 to hear public comments on the proposed rule.

The final rule outlines standards for six key areas, including outdoor space requirements, indoor and outdoor living conditions, poultry stocking densities, preventative health care, physical alterations, and transport, handling and slaughter.