FarmBureausupportslivestock.cfm Farm Bureau supports livestock preemption legislation
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Farm Bureau supports livestock preemption legislation


The state's largest farm organization is throwing its support behind legislation that will protect animal agriculture in Oklahoma.

Representative Don Armes and Senator Mike Schulz have authored companion bills referred to as livestock preemption legislation.

The bills, HB 2151 and SB 452, are aimed at avoiding a ballot initiative such as what happened last November in California with Proposition 2. That legislation outlaws the confinement of certain production livestock. The proposition was strongly supported by animal rights activists.

"It (HB 2151) is focused on setting a standard for the care and handling of livestock in Oklahoma," said Rep. Armes.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau's top leader believes the legislation will give livestock producers the freedom to protect animals with the most efficient, science-based methods possible.

"Our farmers and ranchers have learned through experience and training the proper animal husbandry," Mike Spradling, OFB president said. "We don't need an outside group mandating production methods."

Initially there was some concern the bills would impact city ordinances. Both legislators made it clear the bills do not affect municipal zoning.

"The bill would not address the zoning ordinances of a municipality, only the care and handling of livestock," Sen. Schulz said.

"These bills do not try to tell a community or municipality how to control animal agriculture within city limits," Rep. Armes said. "We need a state standard that addresses the care and handling of livestock."

The bills would allow producers who operate near more than one community to continue production without worrying about complying with multiple municipal ordinances.

"This is an agriculture-friendly state and we want it to remain that way," Spradling said.


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