NC lawmakers OK limiting nuisance lawsuits against hog farms

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers are increasing protections for hog and poultry operations who may be sued by neighbors complaining that swarms of flies and the intense stink of animal waste cause a nuisance.

The House gave final approval Thursday to legislation restricting how much neighbors of high-density hog and poultry barns could collect if they prove a nuisance. The measure becomes law if it is signed by Gov. Roy Cooper.

The legislation was prompted by pending lawsuits by about 500 rural neighbors against the U.S. subsidiaries of the Chinese company that is the world’s largest pork producer. The federal lawsuits primarily target Murphy-Brown, the North Carolina-based hog production division of Virginia’s Smithfield Foods.

Lawmakers changed the measure so that the new limits would not apply to the pending lawsuits.

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