BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (PRNewswire) — Applegate, the nation's leading brand of natural and organic meats, applauds the United States Department of Agriculture's decision to propose rules regarding animal welfare standards for organic meat and poultry.
The USDA announced on Thursday a proposed rule that would include animal welfare standards as part of its organic livestock and poultry production requirements. If enacted, the measure would address animal health care practices and living conditions, like establishing minimum space requirements for poultry and prohibiting physical alterations such as debeaking of chickens and tail docking of hogs.
"Consumer confusion surrounding organic labeling of meat and poultry and what it means for animal welfare is prevalent," said Steve Lykken, Applegate president. "With this long-awaited step in the right direction, the USDA will bring consumers' expectations much closer to reality."
Lykken added that Applegate's entire product portfolio – both natural and organic – is produced from animals that are humanely raised.
"Applegate has helped to pioneer a healthier and more humane meat production system in the United States for almost 30 years, especially in the area of antibiotic-free animal agriculture," said Lykken. "We hope the proposed rule will be enacted quickly so that other organic meat and poultry producers will have a framework for raising the bar on animal welfare standards."