Judge pauses new Missouri law on large farm regulations

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A judge has put a temporary pause on a new Missouri law that sought to shield large farms from stringent local health rules.

Cole County Presiding Judge Patricia Joyce on Monday blocked the new law from being implemented until a Sept. 16 court hearing. The law was slated to take effect Aug. 28.

The law would prevent local officials from enacting more stringent regulations than the state on large farms that raise hogs, poultry, and cattle.

Critics of the law sued to overturn it, alleging it’s unconstitutional. The plaintiffs say they worry that counties with health regulations already in place could be sued and argue that the law infringes on local control.

A spokesman for state attorneys at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit.

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