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E-M:/ Another reason to "just say no" to factory farming


Intensive confinement has always been one of the cruelest facets of modern day factory farming.  Recently, in what appeared to be a victory for humane farming advocates, the USDA adopted standards requiring that outdoor access be granted to animals on farms using the “organic” label. But just a few weeks after USDA announced these rules, we’ve learned that the agency is already allowing factory-farmed chickens and eggs to be labeled “organic,” despite their constant intensive confinement. This about-face by the USDA directly contradicts consumer expectations (who would guess that organic animal products come from factory farms, where animals never even see the light of day until they’re loaded onto trucks, en route to slaughter?). 

The USDA’s cynical move also makes a mockery of the new organic labels, which are supposed to guarantee uniform national standards.  The outrageous argument that giant poultry corporations used to sway USDA is that chickens will be healthier
kept indoors than if they’re exposed to potential disease from wildlife outdoors.  But illnesses such as salmonella enteritis and avian influenza are rampant at indoor facilities where animals are crammed one on top of another in highly stressful, filthy quarters that breed disease. 

Write to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, and urge her to stand up to pressure from the factory farm industry and REALLY enforce the requirement of outdoor
access for animals sold under “organic” labels.  Outdoor access is a basic humane requirement that USDA should not let industry evade

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman
US Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250
fax: 202-720-2166
phone: 202-720-3631
email: Ann.Veneman@usda.gov