Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)
What classifies a CAFO? A CAFO is an animal feeding operation with 1,000 animal units or more that are kept and raised in confined situations for at least 45 days out of the year. The DNR may designate a smaller-scale animal feeding operation (fewer than 1,000 animal units) as a CAFO if it has pollutant discharges to navigable waters or contaminates a well.
WEHN is proud to have collaborated with Midwest Environmental Advocates on a letter to a manure irrigation workgroup. See the letter HERE.
The state’s Natural Resources Board approved scaled-back rule-making plans Wednesday to protect drinking water from farm manure after objections to potentially tougher rules by the state’s agriculture industry. To learn more, click here
A recent study published in the National Institutes of Environmental Science’s Environmental Health Perspectives is the first to document aerial transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from an open-air farm setting. Researchers found evidence of antibiotics, feedlot-derived bacteria and DNA sequences that encode for antibiotic resistance in dust in the air near cattle feedlots in the Southern High Plains.
Kewaunee County ranks first in the state for CAFO density per acre, cattle density, and herd growth. Click here to see more about the Wisconsin DNR's report. These CAFOs have caused a lot of public health concerns for citizens of Kewaunee County and one of the main worries has been how the water supply is impacted. Click here to read about the well water contamination many families are faced with Animal Feeding Operations on Water Quality
Although CAFOs are designed to be the most "cost effective" way to produce meat, companies are externalizing these hidden costs onto taxpayers. In addition, taxpayers are also burdened with trying to pay for all of the environmental damage to the land and water supply that results from these feeding operations.
While CAFOs can make a significant impact on drinking water, operating a CAFO near a fresh body of water like Lake Superior can have a huge impact on fisheries as well as marine life. The proposed Badgerwood CAFO in Bayfield County has the potential to poison 10% of the world's freshwater supply. To hear from a local Bayfield fishery owner click here. To sign the Chequamegon Bay Protection Pledge click here