House Passes Legislation Regulating State's Poultry-Processing Industry

Article excerpt

House members sent to the governor Wednesday a bill to regulate the poultry-processing industry that does not require chicken and turkey feeding operations to pay fees to cover the costs of regulation.

Senate Bill 1170, by Sen. Paul Muegge, D-Tonkawa, and Rep. M.C. Leist, D-Morris, requires registration of poultry feeding operations that are not licensed pursuant to the Oklahoma Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Act, and certification of poultry waste applicators. However, unlike a bill to regulate large swine- processing facilities, it does not mandate payment of a regulatory fee.

Leist said the first-year cost of regulation should run between $389,000 and $400,000. The bill does require poultry feeding operation applications to be accompanied by a registration fee of $10. It also requires waste applicators to submit a $15 certification fee. Poultry integrators would be required to provide $150,000 during the first year and up to $50,000 in each of the three subsequent years for educational programs relating to poultry waste management. No lawmaker debated against the measure, but a few members took the opportunity to explain why they were going to vote for it. Rep. Laura Boyd, D-Norman, said poultry growers' profit margin is very slim, to the point that just one-eighth of a cent per bird in cost could result in cancellation of a major contract with an integrator. …

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