Opposing USDA’s Attempt to Withdraw Rules Design to Protect Animals on Organic Farms

In May 2018, the Animal Legal Defense Fund joined a coalition of consumer, environmental, and animal protection groups opposing the withdrawal of rules that would provide basic protections for farmed animals at organic farms.

Updated

December 27, 2018

Work Type

Litigation

Status

Active

Awaiting Decision on Motion to Dismiss

Next Step

Motion for Summary Judgement

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was scheduled to implement rules that would provide basic protections for farmed animals at organic farms — like giving hens access to the outdoors, setting maximum stocking densities for hens and chickens, and prohibiting physical mutilations across species. But after continuous delays, the USDA abandoned the rules entirely.

In May 2018, The Animal Legal Defense Fund, as part of a coalition, submitted comments to the USDA opposing the withdrawal of these rules. And when the USDA formally withdrew the rules, the Animal Legal Defense Fund joined a coalition of organizations to oppose the decision in federal court.

In June 2018, the USDA filed a motion to dismiss the suit. The parties are currently briefing the motion to dismiss and will then await a decision from the court.

No federal laws govern the condition in which farmed animals are raised and most state anti-cruelty laws exempt farmed animals.

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