Vote on Wisconsin’s proposed livestock siting rule changes called off
Wisconsin’s proposed changes to livestock siting rules are on hold. Ag Secretary Designee Brad Pfaff said Friday the proposed changes, which include new setback limits and odor standards, will not be brought up for a vote by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Board Thursday as planned.
Pfaff issued a statement Friday saying the department has held ongoing, constructive meetings with stakeholders on this complex rule, and given the tremendous importance of our dairy and livestock industries to the state of Wisconsin, they’ve decided to take more time to continue the discussions.
The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association’s Executive Director John Umhoefer says Pfaff recognizes the economic hardship and other challenges faced by their partners in the dairy farming community, and he has done the right thing in calling for additional time and consideration of livestock siting regulations.
Wisconsin Farmers Union’s Kara O’Conner is disappointed in the decision and calls for Pfaff to reverse course immediately and bring the proposed changes to a vote Thursday. She says hundreds of hours have been invested by the public and the Technical Review Committee to make science-based recommendations to improve the rules and they deserve to go forward.
The Dairy Business Association and Wisconsin Farm Bureau have not commented on Pfaff’s decision as of Friday afternoon.
ATCP 51 is an administrative rule which sets standards and procedures that local governments must follow if they choose to require permits for new or expanding livestock operations.
Wisconsin’s ag department is required to review this rule every four years. Technical committees have undertaken this review in 2010, 2014, and 2018. The current proposal includes changes recommended following the 2014 review that were confirmed by the 2018 committee. Prior to this proposal, there have been no updates to ATCP 51 since its adoption in 2006.