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Dairy Industry Pushes CAFO Secrecy Bill

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Idaho News page, Farm Issues page, and our Disturbing Facts on Factory Farming & Food Safety page.

An Idaho House committee supported Wednesday a move to seal off more data related to confined-animal feeding operations from the public eye, making it harder for the public to tell if state regulations are enforced.

A bill proposed by Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, would put all dairy nutrient management plans - and related proprietary business information - out of the public's eye.

The plans essentially detail what becomes of animal waste produced at the dairies, which if not properly disposed of can pollute groundwater and soils.

Most waste plans are already hidden from public review, for facilities that participate in a state management plan program. This bill would more broadly affect reports of facility compliance inspections carried out by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

The proposal has reignited a familiar debate about what should be public and what should be considered a private business affair.

Last year, a similar law closed off waste management plans for beef feedlots. This proposal also comes on the heels of a critical report on the dairy industry, much of it based on inspection data, presented recently to House lawmakers by the Fruitland-based nonprofit watchdog Idaho Concerned Area Residents for the Environment.


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