Debate Continues Over Missouri's "Ag Gag" Bill

2 years 11 months 3 weeks ago May 11, 2013 May 11, 2013 Saturday, May 11 2013 Saturday, May 11, 2013 4:44:00 PM CDT in News
By: India Everett

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
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A person suspected of robbing a St. Louis County bank has been arrested after leading police... More >>
3 hours ago May 06, 2016 May 6, 2016 Friday, May 06 2016 Friday, May 06, 2016 1:15:06 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - For years, the Missouri Department of Transportation has said it doesn't have enough money. Now, the department... More >>
6 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 9:32:00 PM CDT in News
MEXICO - Officials arrested two people Thursday after finding methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia while searching a Mexico home. ... More >>
9 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 7:11:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA – Columbia sewers are getting an upgrade in May as the utilities department finalizes the design plans for the... More >>
9 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 6:59:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill with a number of provisions aimed at expanding access... More >>
9 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 6:48:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A measure aimed at helping ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft expand in Missouri... More >>
10 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 5:20:33 PM CDT in News
HAMILTON (AP) — A grain-handling operation is being planned in Caldwell County. The project is a joint venture... More >>
11 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 5:09:00 PM CDT in News
ROLLA (AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing a man sleeping... More >>
11 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 5:03:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A new job description for the next University of Missouri System president says that whoever enters the... More >>
11 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Patrick Totten has been making memories in Columbia for almost three decades. He lived in Columbia since... More >>
11 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:34:00 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A bank robber who left a trail of cash as he ran from the scene of the... More >>
11 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:31:04 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Legislature has authorized nearly $1 billion for maintaining state property and constructing new buildings. ... More >>
11 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:28:01 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City Correctional Center offender pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting a female correctional officer. Joshua... More >>
11 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:22:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Dozens gathered at the Capitol to support reproductive and preventive health services. The group gave a... More >>
11 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
MEXICO - A Mexico resident won a top prize of $30,000 off Missouri Lottery Scratchers Tuesday. Jacqueline Duckworth bought... More >>
12 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 4:01:00 PM CDT in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Three men were arrested by the Camden County Sheriff's Office, accusing them of lacing Sour Patch Kids... More >>
12 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 3:41:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
BOONVILLE - Sheriffs arrested three Boonville residents after multiple law enforcement agencies conducted a narcotics search early Thursday morning. ... More >>
13 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Any licensed educator in Missouri may soon have the option to complete annual training in youth suicide... More >>
13 hours ago May 05, 2016 May 5, 2016 Thursday, May 05 2016 Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:30:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
5am 46°
6am 46°
7am 50°
8am 55°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00a
Early Today
4:30a
KOMU 8 News Today
5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Adele Live in New York City
8:30p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Vampire Diaries
8:00p
The Originals
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld