USDA’s AMS to Delay Effective Date for New Poultry and Livestock Organic Regulations

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is delaying the effective date of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017.

During the course of reviewing the OLPP Rule, in addition to a question about the scope of the statutory authority, a material error in the record was discovered. USDA is delaying the rule so that important questions, such as the likely costs and benefits, can be more fully assessed through the notice and comment process prior to making a final decision on the direction of the rule.

The OLPP final rule would amend production requirements for livestock and poultry under the USDA organic regulations. This rule adds new provisions for how livestock are handled during transport for slaughter as well as avian living conditions. The rule also expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions. The OLPP final rule was scheduled to become effective on March 20, 2017.

Instead, last spring, AMS published a notice of proposed rule-making asking the public what direction USDA should take with respect to the rule. In the recent AMS release, the USDA noted that more than 40,000 of the 47,000 total comments received supported implementing the rule immediately. Only one commenter suggested the rule should be delayed.

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