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Ice cream truck serves up message on animal welfare

NEW YORK — A local activist group launched what they call the “presidential creamery” - a pop-up ice cream truck, that traveled across the city Monday.

Their goal is to put a spotlight on the now-defunct Obama-era ruling – the organic livestock and poultry practices rule - which protected animals from living in inhumane conditions.

“This ruling essentially cleaned up a lot of loopholes in the current organic certification,”Patrick McCormick, one of the activists involved in the project, said. “Those loopholes related specifically to animal welfare.”

From access to outdoor space to having enough room to move around and stretch, the rule ensured livestock would not be mistreated.

However, under the Trump administration, the rule was never implemented

The USDA eventually moved to withdraw the regulations, saying the rule would have increased federal regulation and would have forced many farmers out of the organic sector.

The rule itself expired over the weekend.

It now raises concerns over what consumers are paying for when they see that “organic” certification on food and products.

“I think the message [Trump’s] sending is that - 'hey corporations, you can now take advantage of this organic seal because it now means nothing,'” McCormick said.

McCormick and his team are spreading awareness by passing out free pints of ice cream. The catch – it’s not ice cream, but a visual representation of what animals deal with, whether they’re confined, restricted or stunted.

“What we’re doing is trying to make consumers more aware and more vigilant in their purchasing decisions,” he said.

The presidential creamery ice cream truck caught the attention of many onlookers in Midtown. Some were curious while others were left shocked from what they learned.

Even though the regulations are no longer on the table, a number of organic brands did come forward in support of the rule. Many of them plan to maintain humane practices for their live stock moving forward.

To learn more about it, head over to the group’s Facebook page.