New Animal Welfare Standards Released by National Organic Program

The National Organic Program (NOP) announced on April 7, 2016, that it will propose amending the organic livestock and poultry production requirements.

The proposed regulation, which is based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, is an effort to achieve consistency in organic livestock practices. It covers a range of topics including health care practices and living conditions for organic animals.

Here are some of the highlights of the proposed rule:

  • It sets forth separate living condition standards for mammals (e.g., cattle, sheep, and pigs) and poultry.
  • It specifies which physical alterations are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production.
  • It establishes minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry.
  • It specifies required practices when transporting organic livestock for sale or slaughter, and clarifies organic slaughter practices.
  • It adds multiple new definitions, including “stocking density,” “soil,” and “outdoors.”
The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2016, and will be open for comment through June 13, 2016. Read the full rule and get information about how to submit your comment
NOP will hold a webinar on the proposed rule on Friday, April 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time. There are two steps to participating: 
Step 1: Dial In by Phone
  • Toll-Free (U.S. & Canada): call (866) 740-1260 and enter access code 7202000.
  • To call in from outside the U.S., visit ReadyTalk and enter access code 7202000. Then, select your country to get a number.  

Step 2: Also Access the Web

  • Visit ReadyTalk to access the web portion of the meeting.
  • On the left side of the screen, enter Participant Access Code: 7202000.