The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that supporters hope will reduce what they consider “nuisance” lawsuits about the location of livestock operations.
Senator Dan Zumbach of Ryan says the bill establishes new legal protections for livestock producers who are “prudent” and “reasonable”.
The bill, for example, would put new limits on the damages a court could order for health care costs connected to living near a confinement. Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says some big livestock operations “don’t give a hoot about their neighbor.”
Zumbach says the bill is necessary because banks are reluctant to loan money to livestock producers because of the threat of “nuisance” lawsuits.
And Zumbach says the bill is designed to protect smaller producers who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. He accused critics of the legislation of trying to “slaughter” the state’s livestock industry.
The bill passed with the support of 31 of the 50 state senators. It must clear the House Ag Committee by March 30th or it will no longer be eligible for consideration by lawmakers this year.
(story and audio courtesy of Radio Iowa)