Legislation Strives For Consistency

Concern is growing regarding laws in other states making their way to Wisconsin to restrict agriculture. Wisconsin Farm Bureau says ordinances such as California’s Proposition 12 would have severe detrimental effects on food supplies and farms.

WFBF and other agriculture organizations have brought forth the Protect Our Farms Act in the state Capitol. This legislation, AB 957 / SB 892, aims to bring consistency to Wisconsin livestock ordinances and prevent “activist-driven” local ordinances that dictate farms, according to WFBF.

Director of Governmental Relations Jason Mugnaini says it would:

  1. stop a patchwork of regulations from hurting the state economy
  2. keep experts at the helm of decision-making at the state level

While the Protect Our Farms Act is a state effort, it stemmed from the national issue of California’s Prop 12. This law requires other states to comply with more stringent farming regulations to sell meat and egg products in California.

The Wisconsin Pork Association says California consumes about 15 percent of U.S. pork. The modifications required to meet that market, such as a 24′ x24′ gestation pen, could cost thousands of dollars per sow.

AV Roth out of Crawford County has decided to hold off on compliance for Prop 12. He says he doesn’t believe the specifications are humane for his animals. That’s why he made the switch in 1998 to gestation stalls instead of pens. These stalls are not compliant with the current Prop 12.

“If I’m getting an ordinance put on me by someone that never deals with the farm animal at all, I think that’s wrong,” Roth says. “It should be from the people who are at stake with that ordinance, not by someone else.”

Roth says the Protect Our Farms Act would bring reassurance that he and his next generation are protected from hurtful regulations.