Update: Â These bills that will limit farm animal protections have now passed, and the governor has signed them.
Oklahoma’s legislature is set to pass H.B. 2151 which would prohibit local governments from passing or enforcing any "order, ordinance, or regulation concerning the care and handling of livestock within its jurisdiction that is more restrictive than rules promulgated by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry".Â
Another bill, S.B. 452,Â would preempt any local regulation of the "care and handling" of livestock. No exceptions.Â Â This bill has passed the state Senate.
These bills would prohibit local governments from taking steps to protect farm animals against cruelty orÂ improve their treatment or care. The only exceptions to H.B. 2151 would be regulations that related to land use or human health and safety. There would be no exceptions under S.B. 452, meaning it is not clear that local governments could regulate agricultural practices even through zoning permits or nuisance suits or otherwise control the inevitable pollution, wastewater and other sewage problems, dumping and carcass disposal,Â environmental hazards, nuisance odors, and, most of all, animal cruelty.
This is simply a power grab by big agri-business. Don’t let this happen. Don’t let Oklahoma communities lose control of large factory farms in their jurisdictions.
H.B. 2151 has already passed the House and Senate, but the House must agree to a Senate amendment. S.B. 452 has passed the Senate and is pending in the House.Â Let Oklahoma legislators hear from their constituents.