On Wednesday, the North Carolina General Assembly overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto to pass into law the Farm Act, which expands the state’s right-to-farm law. The law now greatly restricts farm neighbors’ ability to bring nuisance lawsuits against farm operations for air, water, and soil pollution.
Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a controversial bill that would have made it nearly impossible for neighbors of factory farms to sue farming operations for negative quality of life and health outcomes associated with living near large livestock confinements.
Several national and local advocacy groups are calling on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to veto a bill that would greatly restrict the public's ability to sue large-scale animal farms over negative health and environmental effects. The state general assembly passed the bill on Friday.
In the wake of a jury verdict that awarded millions to the neighbors of industrial hog farms in Duplin County, North Carolina, the state’s Senate Agriculture Committee approved language that would make it more difficult to bring similar “nuisance” lawsuits in the future.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that a challenge to North Carolina’s expansive “ag-gag” law can move ahead, overturning a prior decision of the federal district court. The challenge was brought by a coalition of animal advocacy and environmental groups.
Residents and advocates in Duplin County, North Carolina, settled a federal civil rights complaint last week with the state environmental board, requiring the state to better regulate and monitor the local hog industry. The settlement comes closely on the heels of a $50 million jury verdict in favor of North Carolina residents who live near large-scale confinement hog farms.
The $50-million judgment against a North Carolina hog farm as a nuisance to its neighbors “is a blatant assault on animal agriculture and rural America,” said the meat industry and three farm groups on Wednesday.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue joined farm groups on Monday in calling for a $50 million judgement against a North Carolina hog farm to be overturned. "This is despicable," Perdue said of the judgement reached by a federal jury in a lawsuit that challenged the hog farm as a nuisance that exposed neighbors to health risks and a reduced quality of life.
The $50-million verdict last week against North Carolina hog producer Murphy-Brown is being hailed as a potential game-changer in the growing grassroots opposition to industrial farming operations around the country. No paywall