Public Health - OLD
Don’t Waste Conservation Dollars on Concentrated Animal Waste!
Raising animals in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is bad for public health and the environment. Under current law, CAFO operators can use cost-sharing funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to share the cost of manure lagoons and other structures. Click here to read the Union of Concerned Scientists report CAFOs Uncovered. Reforming EQIP to prohibit CAFOs from receiving its funds would provide more support to farmers who are safeguarding rather than harming the land, air, and water.
CAFOs impacts include:
Effects on Human Health
- Drinking Water: The manure and other agricultural waste from CAFOs contribute greatly to the contamination of nearby water resources with excess nutrients, microbial pathogens, and pharmaceuticals. Click here.
- Outbreaks: Recent outbreaks of infectious strains of influenza have come originated in poultry and swine raised in close confinement. Click here.
- Superbugs: The overuse of unnecessary antibiotics in CAFOs contributes to the development of “superbugs,” bacteria that develop resistance to antibiotics. There is considerable evidence associating antimicrobial use in agriculture with resistant pathogens in the food supply, on the farm, and in the environment.
Effects on the Environment
- Air: Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and particulate matter are emitted from animal waste “lagoons,” which contribute to poor local air quality as well as atmospheric climate change. Click here.
- Water: Waste runoff cause excess nutrients (such as nitrogen ad phosphorus) in waterways, which can lead to toxic algal blooms and fish kills. Click here.