Bills seek to give public more say about poultry facilities

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two bills have been introduced in the Kansas Legislature to give the public more say about proposed large-scale poultry processing facilities in their communities.

The legislation announced Thursday comes in the wake of outrage last year over a proposed Tyson Foods poultry plant near Tonganoxie.

The legislation would allow protest petitions and public votes in communities where people oppose such developments.

One bill would authorize that process for approval of poultry slaughter operations. The other would govern large-scale feeding and breeding facilities.

Kansas already has similar laws for swine operations and e dairy operations. But there is currently no provision for protest petitions and public votes to approve poultry facilities.

The bills have been introduced by Republican Rep. Jim Karleskint of Tonganoxie and Democratic Sen. Tom Holland of Baldwin City.