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Missouri Senate Bill 391 heads to governor’s desk

AUDIO: Missouri House floor debate (excerpt)

A bill affecting county health ordinances passed its final House vote Tuesday. Senate Bill 391 prevents county governments from regulating concentrated animal feeding operations more stringently than state agencies regulate them. House sponsor Representative Mike Haffner of Cass County told House colleagues the bill makes it possible for coming generations to return to livestock farms.

“When we start talking about the supporting resources, the supporting facilities that are used within agriculture, Missouri is based on ag,” said Representative Haffner. “It penetrates literally into every county in within this state, and we’ve got to do whatever we can in order foster that growth.”

Opponents of the measure say it takes local control from county governments. They also express concern about the integrity of CAFOs and those who run them. The operations are managed by owners who are not from the area, argued Representative Doug Clemens of St. Louis County.

“This isn’t about our family farms,” said Representative Clemens. “This is about corporate controlled industry, half of which is foreign-owned.”

The bill passed 103 to 44 and now heads to Governor Parson for his signature.

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