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February 12, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Feb. 12

Concern over animal feeding operations  bill, resolution

This letter is in response to the Jan. 28 article titled “Indiana lawmakers consider protecting right to hunt.” 

The resolution being considered is SJR0021, and it sounds good, guaranteeing the right to hunt, fish and farm. But what is not mentioned in the article is the wording of this resolution which will make it illegal for any community to oppose the construction of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and CFOs (smaller versions of CAFOs). This resolution is not about “animal rights.” It’s about the right of any community to have a say in what they will allow in their community.

There is a growing concern about the impact on human health and the environment of the industrialized animal agriculture industry, which our state legislature seems to be ignoring. Please go to indianacafowatch.com and click on “Research Materials.” Another good web site to look at is www.hecweb.org, enter CAFO in the search window.

A bill was introduced in the 2011 legislature to put a moratorium on the construction of new CAFOs and CFOs or the expansion of existing CAFOs and CFOs until these issues could be resolved, but it wasn’t acted upon and it has not been reintroduced.

Another bill of concern is SB0571, which will, if passed, take away any local communities right to regulate existing animal agricultural operations. To read these bills, you can go to www.in.gov/billwatch, click on Bill Info, then enter 0571 in the search window or click on Resolutions, then click on Joint and scroll down to SJR0021.

Although the Indiana Department of Environmental Management regulates these farms, they do not regulate location, air quality, disposal of dead animals, increased traffic or the devaluation of neighboring properties, which can be as much as 50 percent.

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