USDA Updates Organic Chicken Pasture Protocol

The department requires organic chickens to have access to outdoor pastures.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently finalized an update to organic chicken regulations, requiring all organic egg producers to provide regular access to outdoor pasture to their chickens. Previous regulations required egg producers to grant their chickens regular outdoor access, but companies found a loophole in this rule by giving their chickens open-air porches rather than full access to pasture.

“It’s fair to say that this is the most significant update in organic regulations in over 30 years,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

During the drafting process for this regulation update, the department received over 40,000 public comments, many of which spoke specifically about the indoor and outdoor requirements for organic egg-laying hens. Organic livestock companies have one year to comply with the new rule and five years to install permanent building accommodations that abide by the updated regulation.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For USDA officials as they review and assess U.S. agricultural methods and regulations.
  • For wisdom for Secretary Vilsack as he heads the department.
  • For organic farmers who will need to change their operations to comply with the updated rule.

Sources: Reuters


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