The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced its decision to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. The rule was intended to standardize the treatment of animals on organic farms in order to be sold under a "certified organic" label. The rule was delayed three times prior to being withdrawn. According to Greg Ibach, USDA Marketing and Regulatory Program Undersecretary, the Department felt that the existing laws were sufficient, and there were concerns with the regulatory authority granted to the USDA under the rule and the potential that it exceeded the Department's authority.
Reaction to the withdrawal is mixed, with supporters, such as the American Farm Bureau, saying it will allow more farmers to remain in the organic business. Others—including the National Farmers Union, the Humane Society, and the ASPCA—feel that the withdrawal is a mistake, arguing that it allows operations to sidestep the rules and still obtain the benefit of the organic label and that the withdrawn rule will result in continued suffering by animals. The Organic Trade Association also condemned the withdrawal in addition to its ongoing lawsuit against the USDA.
For more information see:
Kendall Karson, ABC News, "Trump USDA Withdraws Animal Welfare Regulation for Organic Farms, Sparking Backlash," March 14, 2018, http://abcnews.go.com/US/trump-usda-withdraws-animal-welfare-regulation-organic-farms/story?id=53745900