While an ongoing Senate filibuster effectively killed a House bill that would limit authority to inspect animal farming operations, a Senate bill that would limit local authority over concentrated animal feeding operations passed the legislature on Tuesday after a two-and-a-half-hour House floor debate.
The bill would prohibit local health agencies from imposing CAFO regulations stricter than state or federal rules. Currently 20 of the 114 counties in Missouri have tight CAFO regulations through local public health ordinances. State Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, is the bill’s sponsor and the chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee.
“This legislation comes in response to a patchwork of arbitrary and highly restrictive county ordinances written by non-experts which has stifled the growth of modern animal agriculture operations in Missouri and, in some cases, all but halted future expansion,” the Missouri Chamber of Commerce wrote in a press release Tuesday.