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Missouri legislature endorses limits on hog farm suits

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 4:59 p.m. CST; updated 9:26 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 23, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers have endorsed legislation intended to limit lawsuits against large-scale animal farms.

Bills given initial approval Wednesday in the House and Senate would affect nuisance lawsuits against the owners of land used for agricultural purposes such as animal or crop production.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed in Missouri in recent years alleging that odors from large barns of hogs are a nuisance to neighbors.

The legislation would limit compensatory damage awards to the reduction in fair market or rental values for the neighboring property. It also would limit repeated lawsuits claiming temporary nuisances.

Supporters say the bills are necessary to save Missouri's livestock industry. Opponents say the restrictions would hurt small family farmers who live near the animal farms.


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