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Opinion: The Problems With CAFOs

Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs) are not the same as the “small family farm”. CAFOs are a large-scale industrialized way of rearing livestock so that it is more efficient and profitable. But there are significant costs to the communities because of their impact on the environment and on human health.

CAFOs generate massive amounts of waste and are major polluters of our air, water and land; but the polluter does not pay for the cost of clean up, we do.

CAFO practices reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics needed for treating human illness. Animals raised in close quarters require low doses of antibiotics in order to avoid the sickness induced by confinement; this results in more bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. Two antibiotic resistant bacteria and a virus related to CAFOs that are causing health issues include the following:

MRSA bacteria can cause deadly infections of the skin, blood, and lungs; people who live close to pig CAFOs and areas where CAFO pig manure is applied to crop fields are at higher risk to get this.

Carbapenem-resistant entrobacteriacea (CRE) dubbed a “nightmare bacteria” by the CDC because it has caused so many deaths in humans; there is a risk that CRE may eventually contaminate retail meat products.

Nipah virus considered by the World Health Organization to be among those most likely to cause a global pandemic, cause respiratory problems and fatal inflammation of the brain; can be transmitted from animal to human or human-to-human. There is no cure.

And lets not forget – intelligent animals suffer in these confinements. They deserve better treatment!
If you think more CAFOs in our area are a bad idea – please speak up now.

Carol M. Patnode
Mason City, Iowa


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This is just more rabble-rousing against agriculture. They want to live in a state where AG is the leading industry, but don’t want it near them.

If CAFO’s are properly built, and properly regulated as they are, they will continue to contribute to our economy, both locally and in the state. There is demand, and thus, there needs to be supply.

I also believe that places like ISU need to research how to solve problems like odors and make it economically viable to producers. As history has proved, we have the brains in this country to dream up solutions.

Actually the current trend in ag is moving more toward free range animals raised in non confinement settings

Free range takes a lot of land, is more expensive, and cannot meet the demand.

Let’s think about this, which would you rather have to eat; a piece of meat from an animal that has wallowed in it’s own poop and subjected to extreme temperatures(i.e. free range) or an animal that is raised in a clean stable environment that promotes healthy and efficient growth.

Lets think about this. Confinement operations pump gallons of antibiotics into their animals because they are sicker, under stress and subject to a greater incident of disease. Pass the free range plate over to me please.

I heard if gatehouse gets flushed the chicken farm will be relocated to the south mall area .

You live is a ag. state and CAFO’s are legal. It was not much different before CAFO”S. As long as people want cheap meat (and they do) we will have this type of operation. I would be much more concerned about chicken and turkey confinements.

Im glad you are concerned about poultry operations because a really big show is coming soon to the north side of mason city. And they are just small enough to fly under radar of regulation.

I think it is terrible to confine any animal like that.

Thank you Carol

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