Thursday, September 12, 2019

Nebraskans protest against mega farms

A group of Nebraska-based environmental, social justice and grassroots organizations is petitioning state politicians to ban new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

I think this is just another example of a growing backlash against mega livestock and poultry farms.

The group launched a petition after Premium Poultry sought permission to add a 12-barn farm in Saunders County to supply chicken to Costco Wholesale Corp.

Costco has built a huge complex including a processing plant, feed mill and hatchery to supply its stores across the United States and contracted with Premium Poultry and others to grow chickens.

But across the Western United States, large beef feedlots have come to dominate beef production and in the Central United States and the Carolinas, large hog barns dominate the pork industry.

When avian influenza swept across the poultry industry in the mid-West, it wiped out egg farms with five million and more hens each.

When cattle spend weeks in knee-deep manure, there are so many pigs in a barn that you can’t hear yourself think and flocks number in the millions, it’s no wonder some people are raising objections.

And there is little sympathy for faceless corporate managers and stockholders who assemble and build these mega farms.

Unrestrained ambitions and greed is resulting in a public backlash reminiscent of the vilification of Monsanto and its GMOs.