USDA withdraws welfare rules for farm animals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture withdrew an Obama-era rule that required more space for farm animals in order for their meat to be labeled organic. The rule didn't ask for much: It required chickens to be able to move freely and have enough space to fully stretch their wings, while cows, pigs, and other animals had to have access to the outdoors year-round. But now the guidelines do even less. This rollback goes against the interest of most Americans, small-scale organic farmers looking to differentiate their practices, and, most clearly, the animals themselves.

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