Issues: Media Reports

Pollution Concerns Heighten Hog Conflicts

"From Washington state to North Carolina, federal lawsuits are challenging the efficient, profitable livestock industry to change its ways. The arguments found in the lawsuits are based on studies that increasingly show the impact phosphorous, nitrate and bacteria from fertilizer and accumulated manure have on lakes and rivers as well as air pollution that may be harmful to respiratory health.

Large-scale livestock farmers insist they’re using techniques to keep manure and fertilizer from draining into waterways, though fifth-generation farmer Bill Couser of Des Moines says, “We realize this is not going to happen overnight or in two years.”

However, those who rely on rivers and lakes for drinking water or live near such farms — especially in the top two hog-producing states of Iowa and North Carolina — are growing impatient, and their lawsuits serve to highlight the debate between the right to raise livestock and the right to clean water and air."

Read the Des Moines Register article here