No pork operations of any size could be started or expanded for another two years if a bill filed last week is enacted in the North Carolina State Senate. It would continue the same bans that have been in effect for 6 years–since March 1, 1997–when the original moratorium was enacted following lagoon spills. It also applies to cattle, sheep and horse operations, plus poultry ones using liquid manure handling. If extended, the moratorium would continue through September 2005.

“The N. C. Pork Council is philosophically opposed to the moratorium,” Beth Mumford, pork council spokesperson, told Pork. “We would like for discussion of an extension to include some flexibility so that North Carolina producers can remain economically and environmentally sound.”

Agriculture Committee Chair Charlie Albertson of Duplin County introduced the Senate bill. So far in the current legislative session, no moratorium-extension bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives, but its deadline is not until April 9.