If you always thought that when you pay a little more for “organically” produced animal products, you were also supporting “humanely” produced animal products, you were wrong.
Federal rules for organic labeling, instituted in 2000, had nothing to do with humane animal welfare practices.
With the rise in demand for organic products and the absence of organic animal welfare standards, the market became flooded with large-scale, industrial producers who profited from the public’s desire for products like “cage-free” eggs while still relying on the cruel practices found on typical factory farms.
“Cage-free” does not necessarily mean adequate room or access to the outdoors.
But, there is good news!
On January 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized a long-awaited rule that will ensure that farm animals raised to meet official “organic” standards will also be raised to meet humane animal welfare standards.
As one example, the new rules specify minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for chickens raised for eggs and meat.
The rule also requires enrichment, like dust bathing materials for birds, and restricts certain kinds of physical alterations, like tail-docking in pigs and de-beaking of chickens and turkeys.
You can read the new rules on the USDA website at www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations.
It won’t be fun, but you can do it.
Consumers who care about animal welfare, responsible farmers who provide meaningful welfare practices, and the organic farming industry should celebrate this victory.
It means better lives for the 50 million animals raised under the USDA organic label.
And speaking of celebrating, how about celebrating your love of fur balls at the Fur Ball?
On April 29, from 6 to 11 p.m., at The American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St., Oswego, there will be dinner and dancing, contests, a fabulous silent auction and more.
Invitations will be coming in February or go to our website to reserve a ticket online; $60 per person or $100 per couple.
Or call our office to ask about sponsorship.
You know you’re a party animal!
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.