GA Gov Approves Bill to Stop Local Regulation of Factory Farms

Hens trapped in battery cages

Update: This bill, H.B. 529, has now been signed into law by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.

H.B. 529 will stop local communities from regulating factory farms through ordinances, rules, regulations and resolutions. 

This law will hamper local governments in taking action to stop animal cruelty, pollution and other hazards and nuisances from the operation of a factory farm.

Read Animal Law Coalition’s report below for more on this bill.  

Original report: In an effort to block a Proposition 2 type of law in Georgia, state legislators, Rep. Tom McCall and Rep. Terry England have introduced H.B. 529.

Proposition 2 was a ballot initiative that was passed in California this past November by an overwhelming majority of voters.

Proposition 2 will eliminate some of the worst of factory farming abuses: battery cages for hens, gestation crates for pregnant pigs and small stalls where calves killed for veal are kept tethered. Read more about Proposition 2 and the abuses it will eliminate.

Calling the California law "crazy", Rep. England hopes to protect the large Georgia operations that produce eggs and "broilers", apparently even if it means continuing the animal cruelty that characterize production of these foods.    

The bill would prohibit local governments from adopting or continuing in effect "any ordinance, rule, regulation, or resolution regulating the production of agricultural or farm products on any parcel of land five acres in size or greater". Local governments could still make zoning decisions, meaning they could restrict practices under a conditional use permit.