Give Now

Bartholomew County Votes For CAFO Moratorium

The commissioners gave initial approval to the one-year moratorium at their meeting this morning.

piglets

Photo: EllenM1 (Flickr)

Residents opposed to new large animal farms say they negatively impact the surrounding environment. Farmers say regulations are already too strict.

In a preliminary vote this morning, the Bartholomew County commissioners agreed to implement a one-year moratorium on large animal feeding operations.

The moratorium applies to farms with more than 300 cattle, 500 horses, 600 hogs, 600 sheep, or 30,000 fowl.

The vote comes after months of debate in the county, which was initially sparked by farmers requesting zoning permissions for new hog farms in the area.

After the request was made, residents against the operations banded together, expressing their worries about how waste from the facilities would affect air and water quality, among other concerns.

In June, the Bartholomew County commissioners announced they were creating a committee to evaluate the county’s ordinance that regulates concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

Committee member and Hope resident Annalee Huey says she hopes the moratorium will give the committee the opportunity to thoroughly examine the current regulations before making any recommendations.

“I think it is a good idea,” she says, referring to the moratorium. “As a member of the committee, I want us to be able to take our time to look at the regulations and to be able to discuss things and not feel rushed.”

Huey says she believes the committee will be able to make recommendations that balance the needs of all the county’s residents.

But some hog farmers say regulations are already strict enough.

Ron Trotter was a hog producer in the county until five years ago. He says new state regulations were too burdensome, forcing him to give up the business. He now runs a feed store.

Trotter says if enforced, the current regulations are more than ample to keep the environment safe.

“It’s very tough to get an operation now, and I think if they make it any tougher, there just won’t be any,” he says.

The county commissioners must still vote again to finalize the moratorium.

The CAFO study committee meets for the first time next month and has meetings scheduled through next spring.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

View all posts by this author »

  • http://indianacafoinfo.wordpress.com/ Oldst Louis

    The state regulations that put Mr. Trotter out of business have nothing to do with local ordinances which are not nearly strict enough to protect county resident rights or quality of life. But he is correct about the regulations not being enforced which is a big but different problem

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Environment Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook