- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

TYNDALL, S.D. (AP) - Opponents in the debate over animal feedlot regulations in Bon Homme County are building a volunteer group to try to negotiate a compromise.

The county’s zoning board is recommending more stringent requirements for large feeding operations, after opponents asked for more restrictions to safeguard the health and property of others and also the environment.

Supporters of feedlots say they boost the economy and that decisions should be based on facts, not emotion.

Hog farmer Justin Rothschadl and large feedlot opponent Robert Jerke plan to form the volunteer group of about half a dozen people on both sides of the issue, the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan reported (https://bit.ly/22g1LYA ). The group aims to come up with a proposal for the June 20 zoning board meeting.

“Most producers are neighborly and aren’t just going to build right next to someone,” Rothschadl said. “We all want what’s right.”

Any changes to county feedlot rules will require the approval of the County Commission and will not affect existing operations.

The county has approved four feedlot permits this year, including three 2,400-head hog operations. That prompted opponents to submit petitions seeking a moratorium on permits while more reviews are conducted, sparking the debate.

Zoning officials last month recommended that a permit be required for operations with more than 500 animals. The county currently requires a permit for 1,000 animals, matching the state requirement. The County Commission sent the proposal back to the zoning board for other options and more input from livestock producers.

The board has rescheduled a public meeting set for June 20 until July, to give the volunteer group time to complete its work.

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Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, https://www.yankton.net/


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