Compassion Over Killing has joined a coalition of animal protection organizations in sending a letter to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, urging him to veto a dangerous bill on his desk. Titled “Farm Act of 2018,” Senate bill 711 effectively strips North Carolinians of the right to file nuisance lawsuits against neighboring pig factory farms.
The Coalition, including Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, The Humane League, and the Humane Society of the United States, warns that the bill, if enacted, would give rural communities (largely made up of low-income people of color) who live near these factory farms “virtually no recourse against a statewide epidemic of harmful odor, air, and water pollution caused by industrial hog farming.”
This bill comes at the heels of a groundbreaking $50 million verdict against Smithfield Foods last month. Neighbors of Smithfield – the world’s largest pork producer – had filed a class-action nuisance lawsuit, complaining of horrible smells, open manure lagoons, and trucks full of dead animals passing by their properties at all hours. The jury awarded the neighbors compensatory and punitive damages, but a recent North Carolina law capped the amount of money factory farms have to pay in nuisance suits. To add insult to injury, powerful animal agriculture then bulldozed Senate bill 711 through the legislature, further taking away any option to challenge it.
The Coalition also noted that a section of the bill “proposes a 12-state ‘embargo’ on any soy, almond, or other plant-based products marketed with the word ‘milk.’” This is the latest attempt to interfere with the booming plant-based food industry, while consumers are clearly demanding more plant-based milks. We hope Governor Cooper does the right thing and chooses to put the well-being of North Carolina residents above the profits of the big pig and dairy industries.
For press inquiries, contact Mary Beth Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina residents: Take action! Call Governor Cooper today at (919) 814-2000 and ask him to veto this bill.
“Hi, I’m calling as a concerned North Carolina constituent. I would like to ask Governor Cooper to veto Senate bill 711. This bill would hurt animals, the environment, rural communities, and our economy.”