Iowa Bill that Limits Livestock Nuisance Lawsuits, Goes to Governor

James Q. Lynch reported yesterday at the Quad City Times Online that, “Legislation that backers say will protect farmers — large and small — from nuisance lawsuits is on its way to the governor.

“By a 60-39 vote, the Iowa House on Wednesday approved Senate File 447 to allow for an affirmative defense to be raised in certain cases in which an animal feeding operation is claimed to be a public or private nuisance or to otherwise interfere with a person’s comfortable use and enjoyment of life or property, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Chip Baltimore, R-Boone, said.”

Recall that the Iowa Senate passed this measure earlier this month.

Mr. Lynch explained that, “Critics said the bill would reduce local control, provide confined animal livestock operations favorable legal protection and erode the legal rights of rural residents by capping special damages at one-and-a-half times other damages.

“Baltimore argued, however, the bill would encourage livestock operators ‘to act in a responsible manner especially when we are talking about things like water quality.'”

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