JEFFERSON CITY- State government would be prohibited from imposing an "undue economic burden" on livestock owners under a measure approved by the House Agriculture Policy Committee Tuesday.
The bill's sponsor -- Rep. Tom Loehner said he wrote the bill himself without outside influence.
“I wrote the bill,” the Koeltztown Republican said, emphasizing that it was his personal initiative intended to protect simple farmers.
In addition to limiting state government's powers, the measure also would establish a formal legal right to raise livestock in a "human manner."
The phrase "human manner" is defined in the bill as “accepted scientific principles," which are defined as "agricultural standards and practices established by the University of Missouri and the most current industry standards and practices."
Among those voicing support for the measure was committee Member Ed Schieffer, D-Troy..
“You don’t want a dozen of eggs to cost $10, as it does in California,” Schieffer said, referring to measures he said farmers there had to adopt as a result of stricter regulations on the poultry industry.
James Harris, lobbying for the Humane Society, asked that dogs and cats be excluded from the bill.
During the committee discussion, no mention was made of the last November's Proposition B -- the dog-breeding regulation bill -- that some agricultural interests have warned could be the start of an effort to impose expensive restrictions on livestock production.
The Agricultural Policy Committee approved the bill unanimously.
A similar measure sponsored by Loehner last was approved by the committee, but never came before the full House for debate.
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