Arkansas Poultry Companies Defend Litter

ARKANSAS - Farmer Gene Pharr scoffs at suggestions that chicken litter is a hazardous substance and fears that a lawsuit targeting the industry could have the waste declared a noxious product on a par with industrial solvents, pesticide manufacturing residue and discarded batteries.

Decades of spreading chicken waste on the Ozark Mountains have turned the region a lush green, but a federal court lawsuit filed by Oklahoma's attorney general could stop the practice and, according to Pharr, gut an industry that over 75 years helped transform an isolated region into a vital part of the economy.

``We could see the loss of this industry to this country,'' said Pharr, who keeps 125,000 chickens in five houses on his northwestern Arkansas farm.

Tyson Foods Inc., based at Springdale, is the world's largest meat producer and Arkansas is usually ranked first or second nationally among states in poultry production.

Source: KOTV
calendar icon 18 July 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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