June 2, 2022 – Washington State Dairy Federation recently sent an alert urging people to sign up as soon as possible to testify at the June 8, 2022 online meeting of the Washington State Board of Health, where they have scheduled a hearing on the proposed “Keeping of Animals” rule.
Dairies are already regulated by the Dairy Nutrient Management Act and other laws. Adding this new, unnecessary rule will create conflicts and potential lawsuits, and it should not be adopted.
The state Board of Health meeting begins at 9:30 am on June 8, 2022, but the Keeping of Animals item is scheduled for 1:30 pm. We suggest checking in at 12:30 pm, in case they are ahead of schedule.
Sign up today by visiting the link here: BOH Hearing Registration – June 8, 2022 at 1:30 pm
- Enter your name and email address
- Click “YES” for giving testimony
- Click “Oppose” for your position
- Leave everything else blank or unchecked
The state Board of Health has been considering the “Keeping of Animals” proposed rule since 2009.
The proposed rule contains standards for stockpiling of nutrients, control of odors, control of attraction of flies, and more. These issues are already addressed in the Dairy Nutrient Management Program, which involves inspections of dairies.
If state and local health officials receive a complaint, they could be obligated to investigate and/or act, even though the dairy is already regulated under the DNMA for these practices.
The proposed rule applies to the keeping of domestic animals, and specifically livestock as defined here: “(e) ‘Livestock’ means domestic animals raised for use or for profit, especially on a farm, and includes horses, mules, donkeys, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine, rabbits, llamas, alpacas, ratites, poultry, waterfowl, and game birds.”
The proposed rule also says, “The local health officer may investigate and enforce this section. Enforcement actions may include any proceeding within the local health officer’s statutory authority. Before taking enforcement action the local health officer must attempt to communicate with the person who may be in violation of this section in order to explore the facts and, if the local health officer determines that a violation has occurred, allow the person reasonable time to correct the violation.”