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USDA approves rules on humane treatment of animals

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MANCHESTER TWP., Pa. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture released new rules Wednesday on the humane treatment of animals raised organically, a move supported by consumers and those in the local organic food industry.

Several local organic farmers contacted by FOX43 supported the rules, saying many of the new standards are things already implemented by organic farmers.

Consumers at Leg Up Farmers Market in Manchester Township, which sells all-natural and organic products, said they are increasingly concerned about the conditions in which the animals are raised.

"It seems hard to even find out how animals were raised and treated, so to know there will be standards that you would just know and feel comfortable buying the product would be amazing," Emily Dayhoff of Mount Wolf said.

"It's nice to know that it's kind of done in a more humane environment," Sue Gaskill of York added.

Brad Clark, the market's owner, says he often sees his customers ask employees about where their food is coming from, and the demand for organic has been going up for years. The continued demand is a big factor in why he believes there will not be price increases stemming from this.

"We have found that our consumers here really crave the knowledge of where it's from, how it's raised, and that speaks volumes to our consumers," Clark said.

The rules do not begin to take effect until 2018, with some of them taking effect in later years.

Some Senate Republicans have vowed to work to overturn the new standards once the incoming Trump administration takes over.

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