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Quick facts on CAFOs

  • CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) are large-scale animal feeding operations that have significant negative environmental and public health consequences.
  • Missouri has 106,000 farm operations, about 500 of these are Class I CAFOs with 1,000 to 7,000 “animal units”.
  • CAFOs in Missouri include at least 1,000 animal “units” and can often include many more. An animal unit is defined as:
    1 Animal Unit
    1.0 Beef 2.5 Swine > 55 Lbs 30 Laying hens
    0.5 Horses 10 Swine < 55 Lbs 60 Pellets
    0.7 Dairy Cow 10 Sheep 55 Turkeys
    100 Broiler Chickens
  • Current state standards allow up to 17,499 hogs within 2000 feet of a residence. It allows an unlimited number of animals to be located 3,000 feet from a residence.
  • According to an EPA study, a CAFO with 4,000 hogs can generate as much waste as a city of 16,000 people. A Class 1A CAFO (17,500 hogs and above) can generate as much waste as the city of St. Louis.
  • In the last 15 years, hog numbers in Missouri have stayed the same (2,700,000), while the number of hog farmers has decreased 85% from 15,000 to 2,200. In the same time period, the price of pork has increased from $1.71 per pound to $2.81 per pound, but the hog producers’ share of that money has decreased from 49 cents to 30 cents.
  • Increased numbers of CAFOs in an area often are associated with declines in local economic and social indicators (e.g. business purchases, infrastructure, property values, population, social cohesion), which undermine the socioeconomic and social foundations of community health.

Our elected representatives should be taking steps to protect the property rights of the majority of family farmers and rural landowners, not just the small number of CAFO operators.