SC Legislature Overrides Veto of Bill Limiting Regulation of Factory Farms

Update June 22, 2009: By a vote of 95-10 the legislature has overridden South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s veto of S.B. 453. The bill is now law.

For more on this bill, read Animal Law Coalition’s reports below. 

Update: This bill, S.B. 453, was amended in the South Carolina House to prohibit "fee[s] on agricultural lands, forest lands, or undeveloped lands for a stormwater, sediment, or erosion control program".

Also, a provision was added that says only those residents who live within 2 miles of a factory farm except those for pigs, could challenge the issuance of a permit for its operation. 

S.B. 453, as amended passed both the House and Senate but has been vetoed by Gov. Mark Sanford. The bill now goes back to the legislature.

For more on this bill, read Animal Law Coalition’s earlier report below

Original report: S.B. 453 would prohibit local governments from passing "ordinances, order, or other regulations concerning the care and handling of livestock and poultry" except "new swine operations and new slaughterhouse operations".

The bill also exempts lawsuits that claim the agricultural operation constitutes a nuisance. The local government could also place restrictions on these operations in issuing conditional use permits or other zoning or land use actions. 

This means local governments could not regulate except through expensive and time consuming litigation or zoning permits, many cruel factory farming or other agricultural practices in their own communities. Communities would have little recourse against factory farms and existing swine and slaughterhouse operations that cause environmental and health hazards, pollution, wastewater and other sewage problems, improper carcass and waste disposal, and building and other hazards; and perpetrate abject animal cruelty. 

A bill similar to this passed in Georgia this year