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CAFO Roof Collapse Raises Questions

By Mike Scott

A large section of roof at the Bluff Road Genetics hog facility  near Peaksville collapsed in the early morning hours of January 1.  The collapse, presumably caused by the weight of snow and ice, raised questions among neighbors and CAFO (Concentrated Animal Confinement Operation) opponents.
According to reports published in the National Hog Farmer, the farm is an 1,800-sow, farrow-to-wean, internal gilt multiplication system producing nursery-age replacement gilts.  The farm is managed by Professional Swine Management, LLC, the production arm of the Carthage Veterinary Service group.
“This raises a lot of questions about what else at the operation might be built below par, as far as design and construction materials are concerned,” said Betty Halberstadt, a member of the Clark Countians For Local Control organization, which was formed to thwart the proliferation of CAFOs in Clark County.
According to Halberstadt, the facility is not regulated by Missouri’s DNR because it falls below the minimum permit requirements.
“We really don’t know how many animals are in there because no one is inspecting it,” Halberstadt added.
In 2007, Clark Countians for Local Control  petitioned the Clark County Commissioners to enacted a local health ordinance to restrict the construction of CAFOs in Clark County.  The commissioners took no action on that request.  Contacted about the roof collapse, the commissioners declined to comment, other than acknowledging they had heard about it.
No comment from the company was available, as repeated  calls to the telephone number listed on the sign in the driveway of  the Bluff Road Genetics farm were not returned.