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An affiliate of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Polk County Board Votes Against Extending Unlawful CAFO Moratorium

On September 15th, the Polk County Board of Supervisors voted against a resolution extending a moratorium on swine CAFO’s, but did pass a modified version of a controversial conditional use permitting ordinance.

In October 2019, the Polk County Board enacted Resolution 33-19, which imposed a moratorium on the creation and expansion of large scale swine livestock facilities with 1000 animal units or more. It extended the moratorium for an additional six months the following February.

The moratorium came up for vote once against at the September 15th meeting, but faced heavy backlash from thousands of Wisconsin farmers and businesses, including groups like Venture Dairy Cooperative, Wisconsin Dairy Alliance, and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. The board voted against extending the moratorium.

However, the board did approve a modified conditional use permitting ordinance. The original draft of the ordinance caused considerable concern, with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection sending a letter warning that the proposed ordnance was “not consistent with Wisconsin state law and may present the grounds for a legal challenge.”