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Regulating CAFOs for the Well-Being of Farm Animals, Consumers, and the Environment

June 2020

Citation: 50 ELR 10485

Issue: 6

Author: Lindsay Walton and Kristen King Jaiven

The livestock sector is one of the planet’s primary causes of resource consumption and environmental degradation. Approximately 99% of meat and other animal products in the United States are from factory farms, and the number of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) continues to grow. This Article, adapted from Chapter 8 of What Can Animal Law Learn From Environmental Law?, 2d Edition (ELI Press, forthcoming 2020), examines animal agriculture in the U.S and the associated problems. It explores the economic advantage CAFOs enjoy over small-scale models, and provides suggestions for improving market imbalances; explains existing federal, state, and local laws addressing animal welfare and federal environmental laws that should apply, and offers suggestions for modifying these to adequately protect farm animals and the environment; and offers innovative alternatives to the use of CAFO products to allow consumers to fill the gaps left in farm animal regulation.

Lindsay Walton is a Colorado and Florida licensed attorney with a boutique law firm in Golden, Colorado. Kristen King Jaiven is General Counsel for The Signature Real Estate Companies based out of Boca Raton, Florida.

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