Advocates say they’re just trying to strike a balance between proeprty rights and the need for animal agriculture. Opponents say they’re trying to curtail the rights of property owners to sue corporate farms that don’t clean up their acats.

State senators have advanced a proposed law limiting lawsuits agianst the corporate farms in north Missouri. Sponsor Brad Lager of Maryville has heard opponents argue the legislture is protecting corporate agriculture. But he says corporate agriculature is allowed only in five counties and it’s critical to the economy of those counties. He says he has counties that rely on CAFOs for sixty percent of their county income and thousands of their citizens rely on those operations for thousands of jobs.

Lager wants to end repeated nuisance suits against the corporate farms. His bill allows one suit to recover property value costs…but no more lawsuits.

The senate has advanced his bill declaring those corporate farms to be “permanent” nuisances rather than the “temporary nuisances” the state courts have declared them to be. Lager says the “temporary” status has allowed neighbors to repeatedly file lawsuits. But he says changing their status to “permanent” would limit the number of suits to one.

His bill needs another favorable round of voting to go to the House, which is working on its own version of the legislation.

Listen to the debate approx 53 mins mp3