Thursday, January 14, 2010

Legislature to Lure Chicken Farmers from California

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Sen. Tim Corder
  • Sen. Tim Corder
There is one type of Californian that Idaho legislators apparently don't mind: former farmer Californians.

According to yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Mountain Home Republican Sen. Tim Corder is seeking to attract Cali chicken farmers who are pecked off by a new state law banning cruel confinement of livestock, including battery cages for chickens.

"We know that ... some of the chicken operations are looking toward Idaho," Corder told the WSJ. "We wanted to be very proactive and make sure our statutes could resist efforts" by animal-rights activists and provide "a place where [farmers] can continue to be profitable, while protecting the environment for Idaho."

Over the last decade, Idaho has attracted many California dairy farmers, seeking cheaper land and lax regulation, the Journal reports. Corder, chairman of the Senate Ag Committee, may introduce a bill this year to distinguish between "companion" animals, like cats and dogs, and "production" animals. It would also give the State Department of Agriculture jurisdiction over animal cruelty on farms, according to the Journal.

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