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It's a particularly tense debate being played out in rural communities across the country, but most recently at a heated meeting in Knox County, Missouri, where residents voiced concerns over local concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) and whether or not the county's health ordinance is being properly enforced.
The conversation is especially timely. Here's a round-up of activity just this month: In Missouri, House Bill 209 and Senate Bill 187 would restrict compensation for damages caused by CAFOs. In Idaho, lawmakers are considering a move to shield data related to CAFOs from the public. In Iowa, lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal for activists to film farm operations while undercover; while a Florida bill was introduced that would make photographing a farm a felony. (That bill has since been amended to target those who trespass on private land.)
Add to that, two weeks ago a federal court of appeals ruled that the EPA cannot require livestock farmers to apply for Clean Water Act permits unless manure from the farms are actually discharged into U.S. waters.
At the same time, concerns over drug resistant bacteria and its connection to antibiotic use in livestock is mounting. That's certainly a worry for Lynn Bradley who attended the Knox County meeting on Monday.