Today, Farm Forward and ten other members of the Stand Up to Factory Farms coalition submitted written testimony in a letter to the Oregon Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee in opposition to Senate Bill 1513, which would create a new approval process for mega-dairies and other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Farm Forward opposes the proposed bill because it fails to create a rigorous enough process to evaluate the impact of proposed CAFOs or adequately protect Oregon’s land and water, its family farms, or farmed animals from the inherent harms of factory farms. New mega-dairies are an imminent threat, the State Department of Agriculture is currently considering a permit application from Easterday Farms, which would house nearly 30,000 dairy cows on the site of the disastrous Lost Valley Farm.
Nationwide there is growing concern about the impact of CAFO’s and citizens and leading politicians are calling for a moratorium. In December 2019, Senator Cory Booker introduced the Farm System Reform Act, a wide ranging bill aimed at supporting independent family farmers and curbing the power of the largest meat and poultry companies. The bill would include a moratorium on new CAFO’s and would require the largest CAFOs to be phased out by 2040.
There is growing support for increased oversight of large-scale livestock operations. According to a 2019 poll conducted by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future, 80 percent of those surveyed said they were concerned about the air and water pollution caused by CAFOs and more than half of all those surveyed said there should be more oversight of large animal farms. The poll follows a recommendation from the nation’s leading public health association to freeze the creation of new CAFOs and increase their oversight and regulation.
For years, Farm Forward has actively advocated for a moratorium on mega-dairies in Oregon, and alternatives to factory farming, and we will continue to do so until no animals suffer on factory farms. As a member of Stand up To Factory Farms coalition we work with a broad range of local, state, and national organizations concerned about the harmful impacts of mega-dairies on Oregon’s family farms, communities, the environment, and farmed animals.