May 19, 2016

Historic On-Farm Animal Protections Face Threat in Congress

Historic On-Farm Animal Protections Face Threat in Congress

UPDATE 5/19: The ASPCA is pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee chose not to add language to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that would obstruct the organic animal welfare rule. There is still a chance that the bill could be amended on the Senate floor, so please continue to contact your senators to urge them to reject any such last-minute attempts.


This post was originally published on May 17, 2016.

In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program proposed historic new animal welfare standards for animals raised on USDA-certified organic farms. When finalized, these rules will be the first set of comprehensive federal regulations over the treatment of animals on U.S. farms. 

For the first time, animals raised on USDA-certified organic farms will be afforded base-level protections, such as living space size requirements for poultry and outdoor access for all animals. Certain physical alterations, like tail-docking of cattle and debeaking of chickens, will be banned.

However, before these rules are even finalized, opponents in the U.S. Senate may try to block their implementation.

You can help ensure these new protections for animals on organic farms. Contact your U.S. senators in our nation’s capital and tell them to protect these historic animal welfare standards and to reject any measure that would weaken, block or threaten the implementation of these rules.

A vote is expected this week, so your action is needed today!