We Will Continue the Fight for Higher Animal Care Standards in Organic Agriculture.
“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching — even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”
- Aldo Leopold
In early March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they were withdrawing a newly established, industry- and citizen-endorsed organic animal care rule set to take effect in May 2018.
The rule says that Organic hens should never be confined to barns and concrete patios. We want organic eggs from hens that have ample room indoors and outdoors, perches to roost on, and freedom to forage and scratch in the dirt and grass.
For 20 years, we’ve worked for more humane animal welfare regulations so that all organic farms have the same high standards Organic Valley farmers already follow. Working within the mandated public process, Organic Valley teamed up with other organic leaders and asked citizens to write to the USDA in support of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) Final Rule.
More than 63,000 of you spoke up for higher animal welfare standards! But the USDA ignored the voice of the people, of farmers and consumers like you. Instead they heard only the 50 voices against the OLPP. Voices that included big ag organizations like the National Cattlemen’s and Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council, which have virtually no stake in the organic sector. But they’re afraid that organic’s higher standards will make them look bad.
Our resolve is undeterred and this fight is not over.
Organic Valley is proud to join the Organic Trade Association’s lawsuit against the USDA. It is an outrageous, unprecedented move for the USDA to completely reverse an established final rule and kill this new standard in direct defiance of its own citizens.
We will continue to fight for the organic integrity you deserve, which includes these critical animal welfare standards.