WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced its plans for the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) proposed rule. 

The agency proposed requirements for organic poultry and livestock living conditions, care, transport and slaughter.

“This proposed Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards rule demonstrates USDA’s strong commitment to America’s organic producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We encourage producers, processors, and consumers to submit written comments about the rule so that we can work together to create a fairer, more competitive, and transparent food system.”

The USDA added the OLPS rule would promote a fairer and more competitive market for organic livestock producers by making sure that certified USDA livestock products are produced under the same standard.

“This rulemaking is an opportunity to ensure consumers’ expectations align with the enforced organic standards, building trust across the supply chain and leveling the playing field for producers,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs. “With this proposed rule, USDA is seeking to establish and clarify clear standards for organic livestock and poultry production.”

The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) will oversee the rule’s implementation. 

A written comment period will close at midnight, 60 days from publication. NOP will also host a public webinar listening session on Aug. 19, 2022, to hear oral comments on the proposed rule.

The announcement received praise from the Center for Food Safety.

“The proposed rule appears to fully reinstate the vital requirements recommended by the National Organic Standards Board and organic stakeholders that were part of the 2017 final rule, including the crucial updates ensuring that organic chickens have outdoor access and indoor habitat, eliminating the so-called ‘porches’ that allowed some producers to factory-farm their poultry,” said Amy van Saun, senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety.