A top priority of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association is on its way to Governor Mike Parson’s desk after being passed by the Missouri Senate on April 29, 2021, and adopted by the Missouri House on May 4, 2021. The legislation, HB 574, sponsored by Rep. Kent Haden (R-43), clarifies what agencies or entities have authority to inspect farms and ranches in Missouri. MCA President Patty Wood said the legislation is intended to provide clarity to respective regulatory agencies and to farm and ranch families.
“We have been working alongside Rep. Haden for a few years on this legislation, and it is a victory for farm and ranch families to see it cross the finish line,” said Wood. “It is important that rules and regulations are scientifically founded and enforced by experts who understand that science.”
The legislation, which was handled by Sen. Jeanie Riddle (R-10) in the senate, was largely focused on biosecurity. Rep. Haden, a veterinarian, is cognizant of the recent economic destruction that has occurred in other countries because of disease outbreaks. MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering said an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease would devastate the cattle industry.
“We cannot have individuals or groups with an agenda or ulterior motive conducting inspections in this state. We have regulatory agencies with experts to do these kinds of inspections. These experts understand biosecurity,” said Deering. “While it was unfortunate the senate amended the legislation, it is still a good bill and will help livestock producers, regulatory agencies and consumers who need a safe and reliable food supply.”
Wood said the association is encouraging the governor to sign the legislation without delay.