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Missouri law governing corporate farms now in effect

ST. LOUIS – A new Missouri law that shields large farms from local health regulations is now in effect, but opponents say the fight is far from over.

Cole County Judge Daniel Green earlier this month set aside a temporary restraining order that was imposed days earlier. A lawsuit over the law is proceeding, with the next court hearing scheduled for Dec. 9.

The law prevents Missouri counties from passing health regulations stricter than state laws governing large farms that raise hogs, poultry and cattle. The industrial farms are known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

The large farms can produce meat, dairy and eggs more efficiently than traditional farms, but often stoke concerns about air and water pollution.

The lawsuit aimed at retaining local regulatory control was filed in August.

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