Earlier this week a coalition of Nebraska citizens joined together to push against large livestock operations in the state. If the petition is followed, it would put a temporary stop to confined animal feeding operations in the state.
Randy Ruppert, of Nickerson, Neb., is leading the charge against animal operations, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. His fight started when Costco announced plans to open a poultry processing plant in Fremont, Neb.
Costco’s plans have sparked debate in the state over where CAFOs should be housed and how much notice neighbors have a right to receive before they’re built. This ignited the fire that lead to citizens proposing a ban on new livestock operations.
“Such a moratorium is needed because state and local zoning laws are inadequate to deal with large confined animal feeding operations,” Ruppert told Lincoln Journal Star.
He claims zoning regulations are 40 years out of date and need revised.
“We’ve been prepared for this kind of activism for a long time,” said Ansley Mick, Nebraksa Farm Bureau state director of government relations to AgriTalk Host Chip Flory. “They’re saying there’s tons and tons of community opposition to those [chicken barns].
“We need to slow down. I think if you pull back the curtain there are a lot of individuals and organizations involved that have a broader agenda,” she added.
Agricultural groups in the state see this petition as an attack against not only this single poulty operation, but against the entire livestock industry. It could set a dangerous precedent for this, and other, states.
“The agenda is anti-modern agriculture,” Mick said.
The Costco operation that started the discussion would house more than 500,000 chickens in 12 barns.