Lawsuit filed over CAFO legislation, restraining order in place

3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
By: Steve Lambson, KOMU 8 News Content Manager, Zola Crowder, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge issued a restraining order Monday against Senate Bill 391, regarding regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

The bill is set to take effect August 28. It would restrict county commissions and county health departments from passing rules regarding CAFOs stricter than state regulations.

Jeff Jones, owner of Jones Angus Farms, is in favor of the restraining order. 

“Within close to a mile from my house we have nearly 16,000 adult hogs. There is an extremely large amount of waste that comes from these hogs and is produced on very small areas," he said. 

Jones said it is a great burden to live near a CAFO. 

"We want to make sure that Senate Bill 391 is stopped so that the people’s voice is not taken away from them. They need to be heard their votes need to be counted." 

Judge Patricia Joyce issued the 10-day temporary restraining order, and set a hearing on the matter for September 19.

The lawsuit was filed by the Cedar County Commission, Cooper County Public Health Center, Friends of Responsible Agriculture and three farmers. It names as respondents Gov. Mike Parson, the state Air Conservation and Clean Water commissions, the Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Cattlemen's Association and Missouri Pork Producers Association. KOMU 8 reached out to all of those parties. So far, only the Missouri Farm Bureau has responded.

"We believe animals deserve the best possible care based on science, and SB 391 ensures they will get that," said Missouri Farm Bureau Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy Eric Bohl.

"The people's representatives in the legislature spoke clearly on this issue this spring, and we're confident the courts will uphold the law once they review all the evidence," he said. 

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