Tell the USDA you Want Meat, Milk, Eggs from Authentically Organic Farms --- Not Livestock Factories
Major concerns that Cornucopia scientists and researchers share with other allies:
- New dimensions for dairy stalls will permit cows to lie sideways, allowing them to defecate and urinate on top of their bedding. This will create an impossible mess, jeopardizing animal health and the quality and sanitation of the milk they produce.
- Forcing livestock to be on “soil” during the winter when grazing, instead of well-designed barnyards, is not always feasible. This will create muddy, filthy, and unsanitary conditions, covered with manure and urine, and will jeopardize surface water with manure runoff.
- Top animal welfare standards require 108 square feet per bird outdoors; in Europe, organic poultry require 43 square feet. The USDA's proposal requires less than two square feet — and half of that can be on gravel/concrete — there is no requirement for vegetation! How can chickens enjoy their lives, and exhibit their natural instinctive behaviors, on top of gravel or pavement encrusted with bird droppings?
- Indoors, chickens can be crammed into buildings, some currently holding 200,000 birds, floor to ceiling, with less than one square foot per bird provided. Birds in this environment cannot, as required by law, perform basic natural behaviors.
- Allowing some harmful and unnecessary physical alterations, including needle teeth clipping and tail docking in pigs. These alterations are often not needed when the animals are in truly high-welfare systems and are not stressed.
- The timing on implementation is too long, giving five years for giant factory farms to comply with the minimum standards — combined with the rulemaking process, that could be six to eight years from now!
On the internet:
Go to the comment form at regulations.gov: https://www.regulations.gov/#!
- Either write directly in the window provided on the regulations.gov form, or cut and paste the final version of your comments into the provided space.
- You can submit comments online until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on June 13, 2016 at the above link.
Again, you can download a copy of this letter, customize, and paste into the form on the USDA site at: https://www.regulations.gov/#!
Whether you mail a letter or use the internet, please let them know if you are an organic livestock producer or are professionally involved in the organic industry in some other regard! Your voice should carry weight with government officials! Comments from organic consumers are vitally important as well, especially if you tell regulators why you care.