The USDA has changed its mind on making animal welfare a part of being certified organic. They are doing away with proposed guidelines that make sure animals are cared for humanely. Poultry is supposed to be housed in spaces that allow freedom movement and normal standing. Livestock needs to be given outdoor access throughout the year, and have indoor spaces that meet certain requirements.
The USDA said it’s concerned the rules are an overreach of their authority, and that they will discourage growth of the organic industry.
This is bad news for animals.
Of course, at Reedy Fork Farm, we treat our animals differently. Our chickens and cows roam about in a pastures, and have really nice houses and barns available when they need shelter. The USDA may have changed its mind – but we’re never going to change ours.