Committee Inserts Purdue Study Into Livestock Regulation Bill
February 3, 2015 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – A lawmaker has backed off legislation that would ban local governments from regulating livestock buildings and won support instead for a study of the issue.
An amendment passed Monday by the Senate Agriculture Committee says that the Purdue Extension and the Purdue University College of Agriculture will study the impact of local land use ordinances on the construction of buildings or other structures used in the breeding, feeding, and housing of livestock.
Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, authored Senate Bill 249, which originally said a city, county or township could not adopt an ordinance, resolution, rule, policy, or other requirement restricting the construction of agricultural buildings for livestock.
Under current law, counties are able to place restrictions and even moratoriums on the building of some livestock facilities. Those moratoriums can only last a limited amount of time, but can prohibit confined feeding operations from being constructed in the affected area. They are often the result of concerns from local residents.
“Concerns have been raised by policymakers and residents regarding the current and future locations of animal agriculture operations,” Leising said. “The reason for this study is to figure out where can animal agriculture still grow in Indiana.”
Leising said that Indiana agriculture is a $37.9 billion-per-year industry and provides 190,000 jobs. Leising also said that Indiana has about 59,000 farms and farmland covers about 64.2 percent of Indiana’s total land surface.
And she said only about 12 percent of Indiana’s agricultural land is even used for livestock farming, making it only a small land use issue.
Leising said the Purdue University would cost about $44,000.
The committee approved the amended bill unanimously and then sent it to the Appropriations Committee for further consideration.