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Victory for Family Farmers and Local Control:
Missouri Legislature Kills the CAFO Bill

by Tim Gibbons
Columbia, Missouri

As a result of massive opposition from family farmers and rural landowners, the CAFO Bills (SB 364 & SB 428) never had the votes to pass in the Senate or the House. In April, the Senate voted to set up a joint Senate/House interim committee to study the issue of CAFOs and local control. The House refused to bring the bill up because it did not have the votes to pass.

Over the course of this year’s legislative session, literally thousands of farmers, rural landowners and county commissioners from across the state participated in the campaign against the CAFO Bill.

“The radical notion of taking away local control and the rights of farmers and rural property owners to defend their property does not fly in rural Missouri,” said Rhonda Perry, livestock and grain farmer from Howard County and Program Director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center.

Supporters of local control and property rights fiercely opposed Senate Bill 364 on several counts --taking away of local control from elected representatives to protect the health, welfare and property rights of the majority of family farmers, landowners and rural citizens, and abolishing constitutional rights of farmers and property owners to defend their property through legal challenges when the negative impacts of corporate livestock factories infringe upon their property rights.

The operations that would be protected by this bill are a small minority of corporate controlled, industrial livestock facilities. Out of Missouri’s 105,000 farming operations, less than 1/2 of 1% are regulated as CAFOs.

“The majority of legislators clearly saw this bill for what it was -- a blatant attack on family farmers, local democracy and property rights,” says Perry.

Published in In Motion Magazine, August 8, 2007

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