A key state legislator says the things he’s hearing don’t match up with a Humane Society poll that shows a majority of Iowans want a moratorium on hog confinement operations. The poll said 74-percent of Iowans wanted to halt the construction of new large-scale hog lots, but Senator Jeff Angelo, a republican from Creston, says that’s not what he’s heard.Even amid the controversy over livestock operations, Angelo says people say they don’t want to injure the livestock industry in Iowa, they just want it to operate within common sense parameters. He says the survey results are “out of skew” with what Iowans are telling the legislature. Angelo was a leader last year in strengthening the state’s environmental rules governing large-scale hog lots. He’s also not sure he agrees that local control over the livestock decisions is the best route. Angelo says he’s been to county meetings on the issue that turned into verbal wars. He says people have stood up in local hearings and compared hog lot odor to Saddam Hussein’s gasing Iraqis. Angelo says the shouting matches are not an environment where supervisors can sit down and make a science based decision. Angelo says the better answer is a matrix scoring system counties will use after March 1st to rank hog lot construction permits. Counties can recommend or deny a permit based on the matrix score, but state officials still have the final say. Angelo says we need to see if the system works before making changes.
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