State livestock bill has sweeping implications
POINT OF VIEW Agribusiness power grab
BY CYNTHIA ARMSTRONG
Published: March 2, 2009
When it comes to raising animals for food, there is a balancing of many compelling interests: food safety, environmental pollution, animal welfare and economics. But for too long in the state Capitol, industrial factory farms have fought to maintain their own special interests above those of Oklahomans.
In 2005 when Attorney General Drew Edmondson confronted poultry giants for their environmentally degrading practices, the agribusiness lobby used its influence with state legislators to introduce a bill to strip the attorney general of his independent authority to file lawsuits. Thankfully, that outrageous power grab failed.
Now they’re at it again, peddling their influence to convince Oklahoma lawmakers to give more power to industrial agribusiness and to strip decisions away from people in local communities about how they farm and raise animals. The state House recently voted 92-9 in favor of House Bill 2151, which would authorize the Legislature to pre-empt all local law regarding the care and handling of livestock. Read More
Obviously the animal rights groups aren’t very happy about the Oklahoma Legislature’s attempt to protect their livestock producers. Many of the concerns listed in this article have already been addressed by the legislature. With so many families struggling because of the economy, it seems cold-hearted that these radical groups continue to push for practices that will cause increased food prices.