The final rule for Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices has been proposed to be withdrawn on December 18, 2017, with a comment period of 30 days. The notice can be viewed in the Federal Register.

The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule (OLR) allows for animal welfare standards and metrics to become part of the organic label. AFBF opposes this on the basis that the original intent of the Organic Food Production Act was never intended to include standards on animal welfare issues. The OLR also contradicts recommendations for biosecurity, would create environmental compliance issues and does not follow recommended protocols for food safety.  The economic burden of compliance is large enough to force many, organic livestock producers out of organic production or out of business entirely.

USDA ultimately agreed that the Organic livestock rule exceeded USDA’s statutory authority. USDA’s revised economic assessment also justifies withdrawal based on the updated benefits and burdens to the industry.

Farm Bureau is supportive of withdrawing the Organic Livestock and Poultry Rule as is consistent with previous comments submitted during this rulemaking process.