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Right to farm bill in Oklahoma opposed

Oklahoman Published: April 7, 2014

Legislators should vote no on House Joint Resolution 1006, the so-called right to farm bill.

I’m not opposed to farming or modern practices, but this bill is intentionally vague and misleading. CAFOs and Big Agriculture shouldn’t get unreasonable blanket protection and perpetual get out of jail free cards not available to any other industry.

HJR 1006 would stop future legislators from responding to problems with food safety, animal welfare and the quality of water, air and land in Oklahoma before we even know what those problems are. This legislation is likely to prohibit the Legislature from passing laws that regulate puppy mills and horse slaughter, and existing laws, including Oklahoma's Commercial Pet Breeders Act. Former Gov. Frank Keating vetoed legislation that would have exempted CAFOs from following water quality law. He said, “They are not good neighbors.”

Legislators should vote against HJR 1006 and accept the challenge to regulate those who refuse to regulate themselves.

Jody Harlan, Yukon

HJR 1006 would let the people vote on a measure that “protects agriculture as an industry” and “guarantees farmers and ranchers the right to engage in modern practices.” It would prohibit the Legislature from passing laws “which abridge the rights of farmers.” The measure is pending in the state Senate.


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