The arguments concerning animal factory farming in Indiana-primarily hog and dairy cow confined animal feeding operations (CAFO’s)-heat up as more counties are forced to face inherent concerns that come with these operations.
Indiana Counties Attempts To Fight CAFO’s
Reportedly some Randolph County, Indiana residents hired attorneys to file lawsuits against some of the biggest players in Indiana and U.S. factory farming. As related on the Indiana Law Blog, in February of 2009 efforts by the Muncie-Delaware Metropolitan Plan Commission-a neighbor of Randolph County- to increase CAFO set back requirements from various property types were stymied. This happened when a CAFO committee, advised by an Indianapolis law firm, expressed concerns that county ordinances tightening these restrictions are unlawful because counties don’t have the authority to override the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Many Indiana counties attempted over the last several years to get moratoriums on factory farming CAFO’s, with very little success. The environmental, economic and moral dilemmas with this brand of factory farming are numerous. Meanwhile, the size of CAFO’s keeps increasing. Despite this, the total number of hogs has changed little over the years, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. No matter your beliefs on this issue, this fact dampens the arguments that we need factory farms to sustain current American food production levels.
CAFO’s In The Courts
Indiana resident CAFO opponents are now challenging factory farming from the judicial angle. These challenges have had successes, including Water keeper Alliance Inc v The United States Environmental Protection Agency and Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter v Department of Environmental Quality. These cases used Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge Standards to challenge CAFO discharge permit issuance practices. They did nothing to limit the size or placement of these factory farms.
Factory Farming Here To Stay
It seems factory farming and CAFO’s are here to stay and drive real farmers into extinction. Why is it so easy for a city to pass regulations against individuals such as not allowing a few chickens or a goat and outlawing gutter hook ups into the city drain? Yet factory farming pollutes, annoys, and drives out small farmers till their black hearts are content?
The establishments answer is complicated. It’s all about legal precedence, court interpretations, legislative law and appropriations. The real answer is that America is ruled by big business interests that ensure they always come down on the right side of the law, no matter what. The saddest part is many of us rally behind these same monopolizing companies’s in the name of the “free market”. These American’s believe they are thinking outside of the box. How do you even know where the box is when you’re cemented in the middle of it?
Indiana Law Blog