Target: Minnesota Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary
Goal: Thank the Minnesota Court of Appeals for challenging an approval of a hog facility
On Aug. 18, 2014, the Minnesota Court of Appeals sided with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Todd County residents, who challenged the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) decision to allow a massive hog farm to use an excessive amount of the area’s groundwater per year. It was estimated that the facility, Gourley Bros. LLC, which uses cruel gestation crates, would take up to eight million gallons of groundwater per year. Gestation crates imprison pigs to the point where they are nearly immobilized, while they often lay over pools of their own waste.
The HSUS and neighbors pointed out that the DNR did not provide proper information as to how the water source would support the facility’s withdrawal of up to 18,000 gallons per day. Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS says, “These pig factories can have ruinous effects on the environment, animals and neighbors. Today’s decision shows that pig factories in Minnesota are not above the law.”
Empowered residents aren’t done challenging the hog farm, yet. On Aug. 23, the Iowa News Service reported that the neighbors have filed another lawsuit, citing the farm’s horrific odor, from manure and dead pigs, as a nuisance under state law. An HSUS representative stated, “We have people who have built their dream houses there, people who’ve raised children there, people who have grandchildren come and visit them there. And the people who live nearby, they’ve just had their lives severely disrupted.”
By challenging the DNR’s previous decision the Minnesota Court of Appeals is empowering the residents of Todd County to stand up for their rights as citizens, while calling into question the practice of using gestation crates in hog farming.
Dear Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary,
I was pleased to learn that the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently sided with local residents and the HSUS in a ruling calling for the DNR to review a permit which approved of a hog farm using up to 18,000 gallons of water per day. This ruling benefits the residents of Todd County, the local environment and the pigs, many of whom are confined to cruel gestation crates.
Thank you, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals, for looking at this situation objectively and making the right decision.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: EPA.gov via WIkimedia Commons