An Iowa City based research organization has released a report that’s critical of a bill approved at the statehouse dealing with nuisance claims against large livestock operations.
David Osterberg is co-author of the report, titled “CAFOs and the diminished defense of public health,” released by the Iowa Policy Project. At issue is a bill that’s cleared both the Iowa House and Senate and awaits the governor’s signature.
“It is going to be harder for you to win a lawsuit against a large confinement that you believe is affecting your health, affecting the property value of your residence, and just making your life generally unpleasant,” Osterberg says. The legislation would limit damages that a neighbor may recover if harmed by a nearby operation. In addition to health consequences, Osterberg says the report focuses on how large animal feeding operations impact property values.
“There is more to say about things like water pollution that comes out of these confined animal feeding operations, but we pretty much limited ourselves to health effects from air emissions and property loss,” Osterberg said.
Supporters of the legislation claim it’s designed to protect both large and small farmers from nuisance lawsuits.
Photo courtesy of the Iowa Policy Project.