Iowa Public Television


North Dakota Mulls "Secret Feedlot" Law

posted on February 4, 2005

A group of rural North Dakota lawmakers wants to keep details about cattle and hog feedlots off-limits to the public, saying the current system could allow terrorists to gain access to the U.S. food supply.

North Dakota legislators are considering "secret feedlot" and "secret cow" bills, which would make feedlot records, and information gathered as part of any animal identification program, privileged information.

State Rep. John Nelson said if Health Department feedlot records continue to be public, it "would make it very easy for terrorists to come into this country and upset our food supply."

An attorney for North Dakota newspapers and broadcasters opposed to the legislation said the terrorism argument is weak. He said people who live near feedlots often want data on the number of animals involved, as well as information on programs for waste disposal and odor prevention.

Tags: agriculture animals cattle livestock news North Dakota rural