Last week, the Missouri Senate reviewed a bill that some present as a compromise between "large livestock farms" and groups demanding more local control.
Among the issues building momentum toward this effort was a decision by a county jury last September that awarded three families a $4.5-million verdict against Premium Standard Farms. The issue was odor from one of the company's hog farms.
Now, the bill under consideration would prohibit such lawsuits, as well as bar county commissions and health boards from enacting ordinances that limit livestock operations.State Senator, Chris Koster (R-Harrisonville), presented the bill.
The bill also would establish new state standards for large livestock operations, specifically calling for management practices and technology that minimize odor. Proposed new facilities that fail to meet the standards would face increased setback requirements from nearby homes and buildings. Further, the legislation would provide tax credits (up to $100,000) to operations that install odor-reducing technologies.
Some counties and groups, such as the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, oppose the bill.