Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney
The following information is an update of recent, local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:
Animal Welfare: California Farm Faces Cruelty Charges
On February 7, 2017, the Los Angeles Times reported that a California egg farm has been charged with 39 counts of animal cruelty. According to the article, the charges in question are for the alleged violation of the state’s Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. Known also as California Proposition 2, the law “prohibits the confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.” Passed by voters on November 4, 2008, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act became effective on January 1, 2015.
Endangered Species List: Delay in Inclusion of Rusty Patch Bumble Bee
On February 10, 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Service published notice in the Federal Register delaying a final rule classifying the rusty patch bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (82 FR 10285). According to the notice, the delay is the result of the January 20, 2017, Memorandum from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled, Regulatory Freeze Pending Review. As a result, the effective date of the final rule is delayed from February 10, 2017, to March 21, 2017.
Marketing Orders: USDA Recommends California Milk Marketing Order
On February 14, 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published notice in the Federal Register of a “Recommended Decision propos[ing] the issuance of a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California” (82 FR 10634). According to AMS, “[t]he proposed FMMO incorporates the entire state of California and would adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions used throughout the current FMMO system.” The comment period for the proposed rule closes April 17, 2017.
GMOs: Extension of Comment Period for Certain Genetically Engineered Organisms
On February 10, 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published notice in the Federal Register extending the comment period for the agency’s proposed rule revising regulations regarding the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms (82 FR 10312). As a result, the comment period has been extended from May 19, 2017 to June 19, 2017. According to APHIS, the proposed rule is “in response to advances in genetic engineering and understanding of the plant pest and noxious weed risk posed by genetically engineered organisms” and is intended to reduce the “burden for regulated entities whose organisms pose no plant pest or noxious weed risks.”
Plant Pest Regulations: Extension of Comment Period
On February 13, 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published notice in the Federal Register extending the comment period regarding regulatory changes to the movement of plant pests (82 FR 10444). The comment period is extended from March 20, 2017, to April 19, 2017. According to APHIS, the proposed rule would (1) revise regulations regarding the movement and environmental release of biological control organisms; (2) grant permitting exceptions for certain types of plant pests; and (3) revise regulations regarding the movement of soil.
Disease Control: Notice of Changes to National Poultry Improvement Plan
On February 13, 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published notice in the Federal Register regarding the availability of proposed changes to the National Poultry Improvement Plan Program Standards (NPIP) (82 FR 10452). According to APHIS, NPIP is a voluntary program that “is a cooperative Federal-State-Industry mechanism for controlling certain poultry diseases.” The comment period regarding the proposed changes closes March 15, 2017.
Organic Regulations: Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule Delayed
On February 9, 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published notice in the Federal Register of a 60 day effective date delay regarding the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (82 FR 9967). According to the notice, the delay is the result of the January 20, 2017, Memorandum from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled, Regulatory Freeze Pending Review. As a result, “[t]he effective date of the final rule published on January 19, 2017 (82 FR 7042) is delayed from March 20, 2017, to a new effective date of May 19, 2017.”
- The effect of the estate tax on agriculture - Lubbockonline
- Live poultry markets closed in Hunan, China due to bird flu - FoodSafetyNews
- “Employment Law Issues In Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act” - TheLegalIntel
- State objects to new classification of “critical habitat” in endangered species rule - Brownfield
- “Sanderson shareholder proposal on reducing antibiotic use fails” - Meatingplace
- Cattle feeding margins, profits significantly higher than this time last year - Drovers
- Hain Celestial Group is being investigated by the SEC - Meatingplace
- Animal rights groups sue #USDA for removing animal welfare records from website - TheHill
- CA dairy producers consider joining the Federal Milk Marketing Order - Feedstuffs
- Genetically modified wheat is approved for field trials in Britain - BBC
- Income on Illinois grain farms is projected to be lower in 2017 - Farms.com
- US President and Canadian Prime Minister discuss potential changes to NAFTA - AgriPulse
- Farm Bureau prepares to offer Dairy Revenue Protection as insurance for dairy farmers - Brownfield
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