FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2015 photo, a sprayer soaks a field with liquefied manure and urine from a large-scale hog farm in Duplin County, N.C. North Carolina legislators are moving to undercut lawsuits accusing subsidiaries of the world’s largest pork producer of creating unlivable nuisances with how they store and spray animal waste on nearby fields. The 2014 lawsuits by about 500 rural neighbors of industrial-scale hog farms allege that clouds of flies and intense odors remain a problem for often-poor neighbors nearly a quarter-century since industrial-scale hog farming took off. (AP Photo/Emery Dalesio) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers are taking steps to protect the world’s largest pork producer from lawsuits accusing its subsidiaries of creating unbearable animal waste odor.
The 2014 lawsuits by about 500 rural neighbors of massive hog farms allege that clouds of flies and intense smells remain a problem nearly a quarter-century since industrial-scale hog farming took off.
The smells can spark headaches and infuse households, they complain. Wind-driven spray has been known to coat a home’s exterior in liquefied excrement, some said. The smell clings to clothes.
With the cases against U.S. subsidiaries of the Chinese pork giant heading toward a possible trial as early as this summer, legislators are now proposing to sharply limit penalties that a jury or judge could impose.