Regulating livestock agriculture in the state is once again a hot topic at the Statehouse. Several bills have been introduced into the Indiana General Assembly dealing with how to regulate the Indiana livestock industry. Needless to say, they have caught the eye of livestock groups including the Indiana Beef Cattle Association. “There are many bills in this session of the legislature both positive and negative,” said IBCA Executive Director Julia Wickard. She told HAT the livestock industry is backing a bill sponsored by State Senator Beverly Gard that provides regulation without limiting the growth of the livestock industry in the state, “Senator Gard has a piece of legislation (SB221) that will recognize those good producers who have not had a violation.”
But there are several other bills that call for a 3 year moratorium on CAFO construction, expanded state regulation of livestock operations (SB0217) and (HB0050) and a 2 mile set back (HB1075) that would present severe obstacles for many livestock farms.
Wickard says the industry is coming together to confront this challenge. She said several of the organizations have already met to discuss a common strategy and how to speak as an industry with one voice. She also said many new legislators need to be educated about what modern livestock production is like in Indiana. Wickard said livestock producers are not opposed to regulations, just to ones that don’t make sense, “No regulations are not the answer, but rather regulations based on sound science.”
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