Current USDA Organic regulations require organic poultry to have outdoor access, but some large companies are exploiting a loophole in the law to keep chickens confined.
Screened-in porch systems provide the birds with just a tiny strip of space (i.e., the porch) outside of their enclosures, whereas most organic producers understand that true outdoor access means that chickens have plenty of room to roam inside and outside of the barn. While these operations may be few in number, they are responsible for housing millions of birds and providing tens of millions of organic eggs to families across the country. You can help ensure that organic chickens have room to roam and that the organic eggs and meat on your family’s table always come from farms with the highest animal welfare standards by contacting USDA today.
Tell USDA that you support the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standard (OLPS) rule and want SWIFT implementation of animal welfare requirements.
If this critical clarification of the organic regulations isn’t finalized quickly, 40 million or more birds will be stuck cooped up in porch systems when they should live an organic life out in the pasture and sunshine. Exploitation of this loophole and the fight to close it has already gone on for 15 years, leading to uneven animal welfare standards and unfair conditions for organic producers who believe in treating their birds right. That’s why we not only need a final OLPS rule, but we need to ensure that USDA sets a reasonable implementation timeline so that organic chickens aren’t cooped up for 15 more years.
Submit your comment to the public record before November 10 and tell USDA to finalize the OLPS rule today.