In North Carolina, people recall being sprayed with liquid manure when giant hog farms move in next door. In Arizona, residents struggle to breathe outside their homes because of fumes emitted from massive barns housing 4 million laying hens. In Wisconsin, where large dairy operations abound, wells are contaminated with rotovirus and salmonella. (Article in Civil Eats).
That’s what people who live near factory farms—or as the industry prefers to call them, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)—have to put up with. Because all 50 states have some form of “Right to Farm” law in place that make it nearly impossible for people who live near factory farms to hold agribusiness corporations responsible for fouling their neighbors’ air and water, and destroying their property values and quality of life.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are 15,500 CAFOs in the U.S. Just one of those can produce as much feces and urine as a small city—much of which ends up being spread directly onto farm fields and ultimately contaminating groundwater.
“Right to Harm” is a new documentary that details this “brutal reality” experienced by people who live near these wretched CAFOs.