STOP ‘RIGHT TO HARM BILLS’ IN ARIZONA LEGISLATURE!
Your help is needed to stop the Right to Harm bills in the Arizona Legislature. HB2372 and SB1224 would prevent citizens from taking action against agricultural operations with large numbers of confined animals. Legislators could vote on these bills at any time, so please TAKE ACTION NOW!
Many of us volunteered on the 2006 Arizona citizen initiative campaign that banned the inhumane confinement of pregnant pigs and calves raised for veal in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). In response to increased public concern over treatment of animals and environmental effects of CAFOs, large-scale agricultural lobbyists have been pushing an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model ‘Right to Farm’ bill throughout the U.S. to prevent neighbors from bringing nuisance actions against those facilities. These measures are more accurately ‘Right to Harm‘ bills. The bills are an attempt by big agribusiness to strip away the rights of people – including small farmers, and the power of local governments from protecting themselves against pollution and other negative impacts caused by industrial agriculture.
According to a 2020 ASPCA survey, 94% of Americans believe that animals raised for food deserve to live free from abuse and cruelty. Yet the majority of almost 10 billion farm animals raised for food annually in the U.S. live in inhumane conditions in CAFOs, where they spend their entire lives in confinement, subjected to painful procedures with no anesthetic, and are fed subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics – a practice that is largely responsible for antibiotic resistance. And the Journal Neuroepidemiology published a piece that calls for an end to factory farming to prevent the creation and spread of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19. Read more in Animal Defense League of Arizona’s (ADLA) blog.
Arizona, like all other states, already has a law to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits. HB2372 and SB1224 drastically increase requirements for bringing a nuisance action against an agricultural operation.
The bills restrict filing lawsuits to residents living within a half-mile of the agricultural operation, require that residents file the action within one year of the facility beginning operation, and require residents who file a nuisance action to pay the legal fees of the agricultural operation if they lose the case.
The measures also prohibit local governments from enacting more stringent agricultural regulations to protect their communities.
You can access media reports on the bills in a 12 News story and an Arizona Republic article, and watch the HB2372 committee hearing on ADLA’s YouTube channel. And 12 News just posted this follow up report including an interview with the bill sponsor.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please act today and ask your legislators to oppose HB2372 and SB1224, which protect CAFOs at the expense of public health, small farmers, animals, the environment, and local communities. Be sure to mention that you are a resident in their district.
You can contact your two House members here and your Senator here. If you’re not sure what district you reside in, click here. You can leave a message day or night. Please let us know if you receive a response from your legislators or have questions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your help!