“Elise Herring has been fighting for decades against the industrial hog farm that moved in beside her family’s Eastern North Carolina property in 1986 and began spraying the fecal material of +2,000 hogs onto the field that ends eight feet outside her kitchen window.
But last Friday, when the state’s newly elected Democratic Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would protect the hog industry from lawsuits like the one Herring and about 500 others have filed against a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, she breathed a sigh of relief- at least for the moment…
The North Carolina legislature, in which the Republicans hold a supermajority in both houses (35-15 in the Senate; 74-46 in the House), could override the veto with a 3/5ths majority vote if they take up the issue again. The House would need 72 votes to override the veto, and the Senate would need 30; during each chamber’s last vote on the bill, 74 representatives and 30 senators supported it.”
“In North Carolina, 6,500 industrial hog farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), house more than 9.5 million animals in the flat, hot eastern stretches of the state.
Together, the pigs produce 10 billion gallons of feces and urine each year, which the operations store in large, open-air pits, euphemistically referred to as “lagoons.” To make sure the pits do not overflow, the operations periodically lower their levels by shooting the fecal mixture over “sprayfields” of feed crops with high-pressure sprinklers.
Scientific studies confirm that discharging animal waste into the air damages human health in the surrounding areas. The foul-smelling chemicals the CAFOs release – namely ammonia and hydrogen sulfide – are associated with breathing problems, blood pressure spikes, increased stress and anxiety, and decreased quality of life, studies have found.”