A coalition of 55 environmental, agricultural, and food-safety organizations signed a letter urging the Iowa General Assembly pass a moratorium on new and expanded factory farm development in the state. Iowa currently houses nearly 23 million hogs, a record for the state and the highest number in the country.
Four Iowa residents have petitioned the state to better regulate airborne waste from hog farms. Currently, Iowa requires farmers to retain manure until it is applied as fertilizer. But the residents argue that farmers aren’t retaining all the manure — that some is being spread to nearby homes by blowers and air vents.
In their rush to protect farmers from adverse publicity, Idaho legislators enacted an unconstitutional, “staggeringly overbroad” muzzle of free speech and investigative reporting, ruled U.S. appeals court judges in Seattle.
Around a third of large livestock farms in Wisconsin are operating with expired permits, says Wisconsin Public Radio. It's not uncommon or illegal "but it is a source of frustration for farmers and residents concerned about oversight."
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would limit the liability of large livestock farms when they are sued for creating a public nuisance due to odors or manure runoff. His veto may not be the end of the story because hog farmers are encouraging the legislature to override the veto.
Two reporters and a photographer from the Chicago Tribune won the top writing award from the North American Agricultural Journalists for "The Price of Pork," a series of stories on large-scale hog production in Illinois. Written by Gary Marx and David Jackson, the stories "told the story of an exploding number and size of large hog confinements across rural Illinois, where state officials promoted an industry that poisoned streams, trampled the rights of farm families and brushed aside worker reports of animal abuse," said NAAJ.
In a handful of states, legislators are deciding this year whether to limit the rights of people who file lawsuits alleging that large livestock farms near their homes are public nuisances.
An environmental group estimates that 160,000 people would lose some of their property rights under legislation being considered in North Carolina to reduce the legal liability of large hog and poultry farms for noxious odors from animal wast
The U.S. appeals court based in Washington voided a Bush-era exemption for large livestock farms from reporting emission of air pollutants in a win for environmentalists, said Law360. The lawsuit was filed more than a year ago by eight environmental groups, who said the EPA ignored petitions in 2009 and 2011 for regulation of ammonia, methane and other emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).