USDA Further Delays Animal Welfare Rule

On November 9, the USDA announced it would once again delay implementation the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (OLPP)
 
This was a disappointing announcement for the organic community, which has asked for a long time that the USDA implement the OLPP which would clarify and strengthen organic standards for animal welfare. It was developed with over 14 years of public input and is supported by the vast majority of organic stakeholders as demonstrated by the over 40,000 public comments in support of the OLPP. Despite overwhelming support for the rule, the USDA did not implement the rule on its originally scheduled implementation date of January 19, 2017. Rather, it delayed the rule twice. And, now, citing “significant policy and legal issues,” USDA will delay the rule yet again until May 14, 2018. In its announcement about the delay, USDA stated it would once again reopen public comment. 
 
Anticipating further delays or dismissal of the rule altogether, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) filed a lawsuit against USDA earlier this year. The lawsuit alleges that USDA violated administrative laws and OFPA for blocking the organic sector and public stakeholder’s ability to revise, refine, and advance organic standards by continuing to delay the rule.
 
Please contact policy@ccof.org for more information. CCOF will notify its members when the public comment opens and once again submit comment urging immediate implementation of the rule.

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