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Regulation needed for factory farms

Published: Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 10:02 a.m.CST

I have retired to a small acreage and I worry that my property could become unlivable or lose much of its value if an unregulated CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) is built too close to my home.

Livestock farming is vital to Iowa’s economy. Livestock operations of reasonable size have thrived in the past. But Iowa’s CAFOs are not of reasonable size. Existing loopholes allow for the concentration of enormous numbers of animals with minimal oversight or inspections. Some have unchecked problems with manure management, and there is no effective local control of their location. Factory farm manure spills and runoff have seriously contributed to our 750 impaired waterways, and as these facilities proliferate so does the degradation of our water.

In addition to the many thousands of existing CAFOs, the DNR has recently discovered 5,000 unaccounted for facilities, an example of the lack of control in this rapidly expanding industry.

CCI and other concerned citizens are calling for a moratorium on new or expanding factory farms until meaningful and mandatory regulations are passed. We would not tolerate minimally regulated industry moving in and despoiling the air and water in our urban neighborhoods. Why should rural residents tolerate such polluting industry next door?

Virginia Meyer

Lone Tree

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