If confirmed next Monday, Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue will have little time to oppose organic livestock rules finalized by the Department of Agriculture just a day before President Donald Trump was sworn in. Politico reports the rules will go into effect May 19th, but Congress has until April 28th to undo the measure, and Congress doesn’t seem likely to take action. Large organic egg producers want USDA to roll back portions of the Obama-era rule setting animal welfare standards for organic livestock and poultry, but need Perdue in place to do so. Under government rules, to take the rule off the books, Perdue would have to issue a new regulation, a years-long process. However, he can delay it almost indefinitely, and that’s what egg producers are asking for. The rules set treatment standards for organic animals produced for meat, dairy and eggs, including controversial provisions for outdoor access for poultry. Some of the nation’s largest organic egg producers say the outdoor and space requirements for hens would expose them to disease and cost millions to comply with due to the potential need for larger laying houses and pastures.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.