Attorney General Chris Koster Lauds Ruling in Favor of Corporate Hog Farm
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In short, the court today agreed with the attorney general that a county judge overstepped her authority in 2008 when she revoked the permit for a corporate hog farm near the historic town of Arrow Rock in central Missouri.
City residents there had sued the state, claiming that the farm -- with 4,800 hogs -- would ruin the town's appeal as a tourist destination that attracts 150,000 people a year. Koster, meanwhile, took the stand of the Missouri Farm Bureau in protesting the county judge's order that restricted concentrated animal feeding operations from setting up shop within 15 miles of Arrow Rock.
In a press release today, Koster maintained that he is not against buffer zones, per se, but that the legislature -- not judges -- should set those boundaries. (Kinder didn't comment on the likelihood of that actually happening in a General Assembly controlled by rural, Republican lawmakers.)
Says Koster today:
"I have said repeatedly that I am in favor of more protective buffer zones around state parks, recreational waterways, historic sites and other sites of cultural significance," Koster said. "However, creation of such buffer zones is the province of the legislature and not the courts. Our agricultural system would grind to a halt if every judge were allowed to set their own personal boundary lines around every Missouri farm."