Poultry farm bill moves ahead

by 5m Editor
12 May 2006, at 12:00am

US - Chicken lobbyists scored a big victory Thursday in their decade-long fight to loosen regulation of mega-poultry farms. A key House committee voted 15-1 to ban county laws that separate large chicken farms from neighborhoods, churches and schools. Supporters said the bill will free farmers from excessive regulation. Opponents said county regulations protect communities from smelly bird farms. The measure is expected to pass the House of Representatives next week. “I feel better about this than I’ve felt in a long time,’’ said Connie Smith, president of the South Carolina Poultry Federation.The bill has enjoyed solid support because it does not restrict county regulation of industrial-style hog farms, a lightning rod for debate. The inclusion of hog farms has killed similar versions of the bill since 1996.Poultry is South Carolina’s top cash crop, producing more than 200 million chickens and turkeys each year. But mega-poultry farms, which can confine 25,000 birds per barn, also create powerful odors and water pollution threats from manure. Source: The State

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