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AMS Delays Effective Date of Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is delaying the effective date of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule until May 14, 2018. The rule, which was scheduled to become effective November 14, 2017, amends the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by adding new provisions regarding the handling and transporting of organic livestock and poultry intended for sale or slaughter. The final rule expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care, production practices and mammalian living conditions. Specifically, the rule requires indoor and outdoor access for poultry, including minimum space requirements. Producers must provide birds with daily access to the outdoors and those areas must include vegetation or soil.

The new rule also bars some conventional farming practices, such as clipping hens' beaks and pigs' tails, to make those animals easier to handle. Organic farmers will continue to be barred from administering antibiotics to their livestock.

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