The US state of North Dakota may soon be able to farm more animals with fewer restrictions as House Bill 1371, which has already passed the Senate on a 41-6 vote., is likely to be approved by the House of Representatives. This bill allows feedlots or dairies to partner with a corporation and no longer fall under the definition of farming and ranching, so they do not have to follow the stricter regulations of that classification. The bill was amended in the Senate Agriculture and Veterans Affairs Committee and has returned to the House.
If the bill becomes an act, animal feeding operations could be established as a corporation as long as 75% of the corporate ownership is by operating farmers or ranchers. For a limited liability company, 51% of the ownership must be held by farmers or ranchers. There will also be a limit of 160 acres on the amount of farmland the corporate animal farm can own and a limit of ownership groups to 10 members.
Matt Perdue, government relations director for the North Dakota Farmers Union, said: “I believe that we are very near, essentially at the finish line, just waiting for the official motion to concur on the House floor.”
Unfortunately, it seems that more animals will be condemned to a life of misery and suffering in North Dakota, to benefit large corporations which only care about profit, disregarding the animals’ welfare, people’s health, and the environment. These corporation-owned farms are the worst part of the animal agriculture industry, and if there are going to be fewer restrictions and less scrutiny as a consequence of this Bill, that is bad news for everyone who cares about sentient life and the planet.