Missouri Farmers Care leaders said today that they applaud the Circuit Court of Scotland County for ruling in favor of farmer Gavin Hauk. Hauk had been denied a permit to place a new 4,960-head hog facility by the county commission on the basis of their county health ordinance.
"This is a great victory for modern agriculture and for Hauk," Missouri Farmers Care Chairman Don Nikodim said. "Agriculture is the lifeblood of our rural and statewide economy and local governments should not be restricting farming practices that are proven safe for animals, people, and the environment."
Experts testifying felt county ordinance was too restrictive
Scotland County's Health Ordinance is restrictive in that it requires farmers to place confined animal feeding operations at least 2 miles from a "populated area." Experts testifying in the case felt that this restriction would prevent any new operations throughout the entire county and is four times more restrictive than state law. The court also found that the Scotland County Commission had ignored their own ordinance by issuing 12 earlier permits.
"Gavin Hauk was merely trying to improve his farm and bring more economic activity to Scotland County," Missouri Farmers Care Treasurer Dale Ludwig said. "We hope that the judgment in Scotland County is the beginning of a process to allow more growth in the Missouri livestock industry. Many of these ordinances have stifled rural economies and I hope that county governments take a second look at them."
The circuit court ordered Scotland County to pay damages of $178,566 Hauk for delayed construction and lost revenue and also ordered the county to issue Hauk a permit.
Source: Missouri Farmers Care