ASPCA Asks for Better Treatment of Animals on Organic Farms

Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 5:15pm

Guest blogpost from Suzanne McMillan, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare.

Last week, I attended a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board—the body that advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)on organic standards—to suggest stronger protections for animals living on organic farms. Animals who are raised organically are not necessarily raised humanely. In fact, many organic farms are still factory farms, often confining animals indoors using severe devices for most of their lives.

My efforts focused on the welfare of chickens, turkeys and ducks. Specifically, I asked the board to urge the USDA to adopt rules addressing some of the worst industry practices, including beak trimming, force feeding, crowding, failing to maintain clean air and unnaturally accelerating animals’ growth rates. Along with detailed written recommendations, I delivered a three-minute oral summary of our suggestions, which you can watch here: