Feedlot rule changes moving forward in Bon Homme County

Farm Forum

TYNDALL, S.D. (AP) — Bon Homme County’s zoning board is moving forward with proposed changes to animal feedlot requirements after months of debate, though the matter is far from over.

The board is unanimously recommending that the county require a permit for new operations of 500 or more animals. A permit currently is required for those with more than 1,000 animals, the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan reported ( ).

Changes also would allow the zoning board to waive a requirement that all neighbors of new feedlots sign off on them, so that a single person can’t veto a project.

The proposed revisions will get a public hearing and must be approved by the County Commission. County residents also could refer any zoning amendments to a public vote.

The county has approved four feedlot permits this year, including three 2,400-head hog operations. Supporters say such operations boost the economy, while opponents want more restrictions to safeguard the health of the environment and people.

“If I get any kind of hog bacteria, I’ll be the first one to file a lawsuit against the county and the livestock owners,” said Robert Jerke, a rural Scotland resident who has undergone a liver transplant.

A volunteer group representing both livestock producers and area residents in recent weeks has been working on a compromise, but spokesmen said this week that differences remain.

“Hopefully, it’ll come down to something that works (for everyone),” zoning board member Mary Jo Bauder said.