Debate Continues Over Missouri's "Ag Gag" Bill

4 years 7 months 2 days ago Saturday, May 11 2013 May 11, 2013 Saturday, May 11, 2013 4:44:00 PM CDT May 11, 2013 in News
By: India Everett
loading

COLUMBIA - Several states around the country brought up "Ag Gag" bills in recent months, which resparked debate over Missouri's "Ag Gag" bill.

An "Ag Gag" law is instituted to prevent the making of video or audio recordings and photographs that might hurt agricultural industries. 

Governor Nixon signed Senate Bill 631 into law last May. The bill limits the ability to record video or audio inside Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs. A CAFO is a farm that holds 1,000 or more animal units, where an animal unit is considered equal to one mature beef animal (or four hogs equals one mature beef animal).

CAFOs are common throughout Missouri, but they remain a source of controversy.

Don Nikodim, Executive Director of the Missouri Pork Association, said CAFOs have an unfair reputation. He said CAFOs are simply farms that have "advanced [their] technology to feed lots of hungry people."

He said animal industry operations like CAFOs are necessary because farmers "can't feed everyone off back yard gardens anymore."

Contrary to many animal rights activisits' claims, former CAFO owner and former president of the Missouri Beef Association Mark Mahnken said most CAFOs in the Missouri beef industry do not promote cruelty to animals.

"The cattlemen that I've seen and I've worked with here in Missouri are the best caretakers of beef in the world. It's to their advantage not to mistreat the animals," Mahnken said.

Mahnken now owns Missouri Legacy Beef, which is a free range operation and not a CAFO. Free range operations allow livestock to roam and graze naturally instead of keeping the animals confined to feedhouses. He said he made the switch because there is a market demand in Columbia for free range meat. 

"There are consumers who recognize there's a little bit of a difference between free range beef and a confined animal. I'm not saying one's good and the others bad, but we did it primarly because we feel there's an opportunity for us there in that market place," Mahnken said.

Opponents of CAFOs believe the feedhouses constrict animals and are still inhumane.

"You simply can't handle this many animals in this impersonal of a way before they become inanimate objects," Dr. John Ikerd professor emeritus of Agricultural Economics at MU said. "You disassociate with something as being a living being."

Ikerd believes prohibiting recording with "Ag Gag" bills will prevent the general public from seeing treatment of animals they may not tolerate. He said he sees these bills as possible expressions of fear on the part of industrial agriculture.

One of the main drives to pass "Ag Gag" bills is to protect profitable industrial agriculture business. Nikodim said CAFOs provide good jobs in rural areas and are economically efficient in meeting America's food demands, and therefore need protection. He said these kinds of operations are necessary to keep supermarkets stocked with good-quality, safe meat.

But Ikerd argues industrialized operations like CAFOs may actually reduce the number of rural jobs. He said making these operations economically efficient comes at the price of reductions in the cost of labor.

 "Fewer people are producing more product," Ikerd said.

 

More News

Grid
List
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) — A city official in the southeast Missouri town of Poplar Bluff faces criminal charges... More >>
13 minutes ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 4:07:52 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Authorities have given the all clear after investigating a possible explosive device around the Hearnes Center shuttle bus... More >>
28 minutes ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 3:53:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a Missouri man with making threatening phone calls to... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 3:11:24 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
KLIEVER - Deputies discovered stolen property in the woods near Kliever, Missouri. Police said they were alerted to the... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:39:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - Authorities identified the man found injured on a county road, and who later died, as Antonio Jefferson.... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As Columbia Regional Airport plans to expand, it got a push from Mayor Brian Treece. Treece called... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 12:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Jefferson City - While the Republican Congress in Washington is working on a plan to overhaul the country's tax system,... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 12:18:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri hit a major fundraising milestone, announcing Wednesday it reached the $1 billion mark. ... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 12:08:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Prosecutors charged a Miller County man with failing to comply with sex offender registration for a third... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:44:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The growth of Columbia Regional Airport is set to take another step forward Wednesday morning. Mayor Brian... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:04:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - SWAT teams broke in to a home on Fir Place following a standoff early Wednesday, but did not... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:55:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For people in jail, it's sometimes difficult to get together the funds to bail out. That's where... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:24:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama Republican Roy Moore, beset by allegations of sexual misconduct, lost his bid to become a senator.... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:30:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The former Cole County Chief Juvenile Officer sued his former boss and the Cole County Commission Tuesday,... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:33:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - An abandoned car caught fire Tuesday at the intersection of East Broadway and South Rolling Hills Road.... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
Update: Police said the investigation into the Monday Old Hawthorne homicide revealed a home invasion and drug use. Investigators... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has entered in a new foster care study that will look at foster parent recruitment and retention.... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A criminal investigation was underway Tuesday after a man's death and a vehicle fire. Foul play was... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:08:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
5pm 52°
6pm 49°
7pm 46°
8pm 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
4:00p
The Goldbergs
4:30p
The Goldbergs
5:00p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
Golden Globe 75th Anniversary Special
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Dynasty
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld