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Group Opposes Burnett Co. Proposal to Place Moratorium on CAFOs
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/19/2019

The leader of a state farm organization says her group has serious concerns over a movement in Burnett County that aims to place a year-long moratorium on the licensing of new livestock facilities that will have 1,000 or more animal units.

Cindy Leitner of the Wisconsin Dairy Alliance calls moratoria one of the most 'intrusive regulatory burdens' government can impose on businesses and require appropriate legal authority and policy basis in order for it to be enacted.

"It is time for us to stand up for our right to farm in Wisconsin. Our cheese processing industry is at risk if our cheese plants do not have the milk supply they need to maintain Wisconsin as the top cheese producing state," Leitner said. "We respectfully ask counties who have passed these unlawful and unenforceable ordinances to uphold the laws of the State of Wisconsin before we risk losing our $44 billion state dairy economy."

During a July 11 public hearing, the county board presented its proposed revisions to the Burnett County Land Use Ordinance, which included the moratorium. The local natural resources committee then voted unanimously in favor of the proposal on Thursday.

The purpose of the moratorium would be to give the newly created Large-Scale Livestock Study Committee a year to study all aspects of CAFOs and then possibly another six months to complete their task.

The move comes after the Iowa-based Suidae Health and Production Co. began applying for the necessary permits to build a 26,000 head pig farm in the county earlier this year. That prompted a negative response from neighboring residents who feared their local groundwater would be impacted by the farm's manure.

Other counties that have adopted similar ordinances include Eau Claire, Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas.

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