The CAFO Working Group could not arrive at any consensus nor make a recommendation to the county for land use regs. Clearly CAFOs are a controversial topic. For this reason alone, new land use regs must require public input on new developments to ensure compatibility and facilitate communication and cooperation between neighbors.
Dr. Michael Greger, a physician and internationally recognized public health expert states, "The public health community has been warning about the risks posed by factory farms for years . . . in 2003, the American Public Health Association, the largest and oldest association of public health professionals in the world, called for a moratorium on factory farming. In 2005, the United Nations urged that '[g]overnments, local authorities and international agencies need to take a greatly increased role in combating the role of factory-farming,' which, they said, combined with live animal markets, 'provide ideal conditions for the [influenza] virus to spread and mutate into a more dangerous form.'"
Swine H1N1 and avian H5N1 flus have been directly linked to the “intensive confinement of animals” in factory farms, according to the Journal of Public Health Policy. Bird viruses related to H5N1, such as H5N2, H5N7 and H5N8, have raged through industrial poultry farms in the U.S. since 2015, with tens of millions of birds destroyed ––12% of U.S. egg layers and 8% of turkeys. A new U.S. bird flu outbreak in 2020 barely got a mention in the mainstream press.
COVID-19 clearly did not originate on an industrial factory farm, but experts have pointed out that our industrial meat and poultry production systems are breeding grounds for future pandemics.
Let's encourage best practices for new farms and industries in Delta County to ensure compatibility with neighbors and protect public health.