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Hog farms could be regulated by health boards

by 5m Editor
26 August 2006, at 8:36pm

HANNIBAL, Mo. - A letter from the Missouri Attorney General's office endorses the right of county health boards to regulate large hog confinement operations.

The letter, sent Aug. 10 to Rep. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, is not a formal opinion, but it gives weight to health department officials who have argued they have the authority to pursue such an ordinance without the action of county commissioners.

"As far as I'm concerned, it just reinforces what our beliefs were," said Joan Hyneck, administrator for Marion County's Health Department. Marion County has been exploring the possibility of an ordinance since February.

The letter says state statute gives elected trustees certain "powers," including the ability to "make and adopt bylaws, rules and regulations" for the governance of the department.

The letter, signed by Assistant Attorney General, James H. Klahr, said this and other provisions "illustrate" elected county health boards are "largely autonomous" from county commissions.

Marion County and Nodaway County are two Missouri counties where the issue of regulating large confined animal feeding operations has brought heated debate between animal producers opposing such efforts and those concerned with quality of health and life issues.

Source: Quincy Herald Whig

5m Editor