Senate debate begins on poultry farm bill

SOUTH CAROLINA - After years of discussion, senators will take up measure that could limit county control of chicken and turkey farms.

South Carolina counties would find it harder to protect neighborhoods from foul-smelling chicken farms under a bill gaining steam this year in the Senate.

The bill limiting county control of poultry farms is expected to be debated today — and some lobbyists predict it will pass after more than a decade of rancorous discussion.

If adopted by both the Senate and the House, the bill would nullify about a dozen county ordinances restricting turkey and chicken farms, according to the S.C. Coastal Conservation League, which opposes the bill.

The state’s $800 million poultry industry has been pushing the bill since at least 1995, arguing that local ordinances unfairly restrict farmers from earning a living. Agribusinesses want only the state to regulate poultry farms through the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

But in the past, the bill has bogged down because it included provisions to limit strict county regulation of polluting, factory-style hog farms — a lightning rod for debate. This year’s proposal does not stop counties from regulating hog farms more strictly than DHEC.

Source: The State
calendar icon 5 April 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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