A federal judge recently awarded citizens living near a large (15,000 head) hog-rearing factory in rural North Carolina damages for the nuisance caused by the facility’s open-air waste management processes, in which hog manure and urine is liquefied, stored in giant outdoor cesspools and then sprayed on land near their properties. The lawsuit targeted the owners of the hogs (in this case Murphy Brown, LLC – a subsidiary of Smithfield, which was acquired by the Chinese for $4.7 billion in 2013), not the farmers who are forced to use this ‘lagoon and spray’ waste management practice per contracts.
Our North Carolina legislature stepped in this week to help ensure other citizens living with hog feces in and on their homes (legal briefing) cannot receive any compensation from this multi-billion dollar industry, thereby ensuring the industry is not pressured to update these antiquated waste management processes.
The North Carolina Farm Act of 2018, which passed the Senate this week on party lines, and now heads for the House, amends the “Right to Farm” law making it nearly impossible for citizens to use ‘nuisance’ law to sue this industry, stating that hog operations cannot be considered a nuisance if they’re managed in a way that’s “substantially consistent with practices, methods or procedures generally accepted and routinely utilized by other agricultural and forestry operations in the region.”
Smithfield invested $100 million in 2017 to upgrade the slaughterhouse in Tar Heel – the largest in the country, in which 33,000 hogs are slaughtered daily. But some seem to think they can’t afford to upgrade their waste management systems.
IF YOU DISAGREE, TAKE ACTION:
Call your representative in the House and tell them to OPPOSE SB711 – the Farm Act.
If your representative is not listed, or you’re not sure who represents you, click HERE and enter your address.
Rep. Holly Grange 919 733 5830
Rep. Deb Butler 919-733-5754
Rep. Ted Davis 919 733 5786
Rep. Frank Iler 919 301 1450
Not sure how these corporations affect the lives our North Carolina neighbors and our water quality?
Click the image below to watch this short video.