Posted Jul 31, 2007 12:42 am CDT
Siding with complaining neighbors of mega-farms that house huge numbers of animals, Michigan lawmakers have introduced a package of five bills establishing more stringent rules for so-called animal factories.
A hovering stench that casts a pall over surrounding properties and concerns about groundwater pollution are among the concerns that have prompted legislators to consider tougher regulation of factory farms, reports the Detroit News. If enacted, the new laws would apply to farms with at least 700 dairy cows, 2,500 full-grown hogs or 30,000 hens, among other large-scale operations. The legislation would promote manure disposal alternatives, require air emission plans and allow civil litigation against mega-farms.
“We’ve been trying to make it easier for family farms to survive and prosper, but now we’re talking about factories,” says Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, a co-sponsor of the bill introduced last month. “The animals don’t move or graze … it is almost inhumane.”