The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued their final Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards rule, a landmark federal regulation that strengthens and clarifies animal welfare standards!!

Among these standards is the first ever federal regulation banning gestation crates—metal crates that prohibit mother pigs from turning around for virtually their entire lives—in organic pork production. It also provides for minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for organically raised birds.

The rule also bans inherently cruel practices including tail docking and face branding, de-beaking after 10 days of age and induced molting (a process using stress and starvation to shed feathers) for chickens, and mulesing of sheep, a painful process that involves slicing the animals’ flesh. These regulations are a huge win for animal welfare!!