For many consumers, farm animal welfare matters. To ensure the well-being of farm animals, consumers often pay premium prices for animal products with humane labels. Because “organic” is an example of a label presumed to convey information about animal husbandry practices, animal products with this label may offer an alternative to products from animals that were raised “conventionally” on large, industrialized farms with minimal welfare protections. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and enacting regulations require that organic animals be able to engage in natural behaviors. However, many of the requirements are general and thus result in significant variations in livestock living conditions, confounding consumer expectations of uniform organic production and high standards for organic farm animal welfare. This Comment discusses the background of organic regulations, including issues with their application in the areas of organic dairy and egg production. Next, this Comment analyzes aspects of organic regulations as applied to organic laying hens and organic pigs. Finally, this Comment suggests ways to make organic regulations more quantifiable and thus more enforceable so organic animals are able to engage in natural behaviors.
Welfare Improvements for Organic Animals: Closing Loopholes in the Regulation of Organic Animal Husbandry,
Animal L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawcommons.lclark.edu/alr/vol17/iss2/5