Wisconsin considers pro farming bill

The Wisconsin Legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit local governments from adopting animal regulations in areas zoned for agricultural use that are more restrictive than the state law.  It is Assembly Bill 957, commonly known as the Protect our Farmers Act.

Attorney and lobbyist Jordan Lamb tells Brownfield the proposal would protect against local inconsistent patchwork regulations that would prohibit, “specific animal housing or animal care practices, they couldn’t restrict medication or vaccines that are used for animals. It would prohibit local governments from allowing certain species, all in areas that are zoned for agriculture.”

The bill would require more uniform statewide standards concerning animal care, vaccinations, medication, and allowed species.  If the bill becomes law, Lamb says it should discourage local towns, cities, and counties from passing more restrictive ordinances.

Wisconsin now has a statewide livestock citing law that is being challenged by some local towns.  Lamb says if this new bill becomes law, she hopes local governments will follow it since they want consistency in regulation. “I would hope that the commodity groups and the Towns Association could work together to educate municipal governments about how to support and encourage farming and livestock farming in particular across Wisconsin.”

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Local Government.

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