Intensive Livestock Operations

including Zoning and Siting Issues



large North Carolina hog operation
See Also



Regulatory Process for Siting New or Expanded Confined Feeding Operations.Natural Resources Conservation Board - All new or existing confined feeding operations or manure storage facilities in Alberta are required to make an application for approval, registration, or authorization to the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) before beginning any construction or expansion.

2008 Agricultural Operation Practices Act Reference Guide

  • How the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) applies to various agricultural operations that handle manure.
  • The requirements and regulations under AOPA that deal with siting; manure storage, collection and application; feeding & bedding sites; livestock corrals; soil testing and analysis; and record keeping.
  • The issues related to ongoing compliance and enforcement.

Alberta Soil Phosphorus Limits Project



The Association of Manitoba Municipalities. Municipal By-Law Directory

Large-Scale Hog Production and Processing: Concerns for Manitobans [130 KB PDF] Commissioners’ Report on the Citizens’ Hearing on Hog Production and the Environment, Brandon, Manitoba, October 1999 - Large-scale corporate animal production units (particularly for hogs and chickens) should be: • placed under "Workplace Health and Safety" legislation and regulation, including the Workers’ Compensation Act; • made legally responsible for independent testing of ground and surface waters in their vicinity; and • included in The Animal Care Act, as suitably amended to include animal confinement.

Sustainable Livestock Development in Manitoba (Dec. 2000) [pdf] - Report prepared for the Government of Manitoba  by the  Livestock Stewardship Panel; Ed Tyrchniewicz, Chair - 10 chapters + appendices available for download as PDF files.

Public Concerns: Living with Livestock Production. Manitoba Agriculture and Food 



Nova Scotia

Siting and Management of Hog Farms in Nova Scotia. N.S. Dept of Agriculture; This guideline deals with the management issues associated with hog farms and refers to specific measures, which are acceptable farming practices, that can reduce odour or eliminate water pollution problems on Nova Scotia hog farms. The siting portion addresses separation distances from the hog barn or manure storage to off-farm dwellings, property lines, non-farm development, public roads, and off-farm wells and any watercourse.

Manure Management Guidelines (2006)



A Review of Selected Jurisdictions and Their Approach to Regulating Intensive Farming Operations (May 2003) - OMAF - A scan of selected North American and European jurisdictions revealed a number of similarities as well as a number of differences in legislation in place or proposed to address to environmental, economic and socio-political issues surrounding intensive agricultural operations.

A Review of Selected Jurisdictions and Their Approach to Regulating Intensive Farming Operations (2003) - A scan of selected North American and European jurisdictions revealed a number of similarities as well as a number of differences in legislation in place or proposed to address to environmental, economic and socio-political issues surrounding intensive agricultural operations.

Planning and Intensive Livestock Facilities: Canadian Approaches [59 KB pdf] (Revised July, 2000). Wayne J. Caldwell, U. of Guelph; Michael Toombs, OMAF.  Paper is organized into five main sections. First, an overview of the issue is presented; two, the basis for a provincial/ municipal response is presented; three, an overview of approaches in each of the 10 provinces is reviewed; four, specific details are provided for Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick and finally there are a number of 3 observations and conclusions.

Intensive Hog Farming and the Environment (Backgrounder 38; ISSN 1206-1514, March 2000). Lewis Yeager, Research Officer, Ontario Legislative Library, Legislative Assembly of Ontario. This Backgrounder outlines several issues related to environmental and other impacts of large-scale hog farming, and reports on regulatory initiatives in Ontario and other provinces.  The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has noted rising concern regarding new or expanding swine facilities. These operations have higher concentrations of buildings, livestock and manure. Concerns have resulted, in some areas, in complaints, proactive citizens' groups and proposed restrictive by-laws.

Discussion Paper on Intensive Agricultural Operations in Ontario (2000) [97 KB pdf]. Submission by the Canadian Environmental Law Association to the Ministries of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs and Environment.  Elizabeth Brückmann, Student at Law, February 15, 2000; Brief No: 384 — ISBN # 1-894158-52-0 - This submission is a response to a letter from The Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), requesting comments on the Discussion Paper on Intensive Agricultural Operations in Rural Ontario. The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) fully supports provincial initiative to resolve the increasing conflicts over intensive livestock production and welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Discussion Paper. Canadian Environmental Law Association 517 College Street, Suite 401, Toronto, Ontario M6G 4A2.

Investigation Of Manure Production In Typical 3-Site Hog Facilities (Project #97/03). Ron Fleming, Doug Hocking, Malcolm MacAlpine, Jennica Johnston, Ridgetown College. Univ. of Guelph, Ridgetown, ON. Submitted to: Ontario Pork, Etobicoke, ON.  In a 12-month period beginning in the spring of 1998, a study was initiated to examine the impact of wet/dry feeders on manure production, manure nutrient levels, and water use in feeder pig barns. This type of feeder is a popular choice in feeder barns. In addition, many of the recently-built feeder barns have been associated with three-site pig production. Manure samples were collected every second month from 21 farms. More detailed information was gathered for 17 of the farms. By studying water needs, feed inputs, numbers and weights of pigs entering and leaving the barns, manure production and manure nutrient levels, the following conclusions were reached: 

Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) -   OMAFRA

Siting Livestock and Poultry Operations for the 21st Century-Symposium Proceedings (1995) [1847 KB]. Can. Agri-Food Res. Council, Ottawa, Ontario, July 13-14, 1995; Edited by Dr. J.A. Munroe. The objectives were to assess the current issues related to location of animal agriculture operations and its impact on the environment, and to identify future opportunities in the research and technology areas to maintain animal agriculture's key role in the Canadian economy.


Prince Edward Island

Guidelines For Manure Management For Prince Edward Island- Siting to Reduce Odour Nuisance. PEI Agriculture and Forestry. This section deals with the recommended minimum separation distances between livestock barns and manure storages and other non-agricultural uses. Separation between livestock facilities and neighbours are intended to compensate for normal odour production, thereby reducing potential conflicts. An appropriate separation distance in a rural area will vary with the nature of the odour source as well as the sensitivity to those odours by the neighbouring land use. View entire Guideline [398 KB pdf]



Intensive Livestock Operations in Quebec. A Discussion Paper  (90 KB pdf) by Vanessa Kee, Student-at-Law, Univ. of Toronto (Mar. 2001) (Sierra Club of Canada). In Quebec, hog farms present the greatest potential source of agricultural pollution. Research conducted in 1996 showed Quebec to be the largest hog-producing province in Canada, with 30% of the total market share.  Moreover, the hog industry is expanding and new net investment in hog farms has been on the rise in Quebec since the early 1990s. In 1995, new investment in hog farming totaled roughly $75-million for that year alone.

Analysis of Intensive Hog Farming in Quebec [212 KB pdf]. School of Environment, McGill University, Montreal, QC. This report provides a synthesis of existing data on water consumption, water contamination and some of the health consequences of industrial hog farming in Quebec and attempts to place a dollar value on several of these costs. However, the current limitations of an economic cost-benefit approach lead to the proposal of an alternative approach involving a precautionary risk assessment.



Expanding Intensive Hog Operations in Saskatchewan: Environmental and Legal Constraints[277 KB pdf] (Oct. 1996) Centre for Studies in Agriculture, Law and the Environment (CSALE), University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A8; ph: (306) 966-8893 fax: (306) 966-8894; email: - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - This report discusses the system of approval for expansion and development of intensive livestock operations (ILOs) in each of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan; the Saskatchewan process of approval is provided in much greater detail that the others. Each of the provinces has legislation in place that spells out how ILOs get approval and which government departments are responsible for enforcing the legislation.    

Intensive Livestock Operations (ILO) Review and Approval Process.  Large intensive livestock operations (ILOs) require approval of waste storage and management plans from Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food (SAF) under the Intensive Livestock provisions of The Agricultural Operations Act.  Protection of groundwater and surface water resources through approved manure storage and management plans. Saskatchewan Agriculture environmental review of waste management plans for ILOs requires information similar to that required for an environmental assessment.

Guidelines for Livestock Development [pdf]  3 stages: 1) Concept and decision- making; 2) Project planning; 3) Operations management. This document is designed to reduce some of those challenges by providing a pathway for development. The Livestock Development Branch of Saskatchewan Agriculture has a group of dedicated professionals willing to assist with the steps along the road.

Livestock Water Quality: A Field Guide for Cattle, Horses, Poutlry and Swine (2009) [pdf]



Environmental management systems (including sector programs for forestry and hog farming)  (Standards Council of Canada); accredits certification bodies that assess and certify environmental management systems to the international standard ISO 14001.

Comparative Standards for Intensive Livestock Operations in Canada, Mexico, and the United States (Feb. 2002) [672  KB pdf]. North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation - Jerry Speir, Tulane Inst. for Env. Law and Policy, Tulane Law School; Marie-Ann Bowden, U. of Sask., David Ervin, Winrock International, Jim McElfish, Env. Law Institute (ELI); Rosario Pérez Espejo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM); Tim Whitehouse and Chantal Line Carpentier, Commission for Envi. Cooperation -  This Report surveys the current environmental requirements for "intensive livestock operations" (ILOs) in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Report draws conclusions about current regulatory regimes and makes recommendations on the management of environmental issues associated with ILOs. 

Lessons From Michigan: Strategies For Regulating Intensive Livestock Operations: Right To Farm And The Role Of The State (Sept. 2002) [114 KB pdf]. Wayne Caldwell, Jennifer Ball & Melanie Williams, Rural Planning and Development, University of Guelph - From an environmental perspective the focus of attention has been on issues related to odour and water quality.  In many jurisdictions including Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba municipalities have attempted to regulate the industry through a variety of strategies including nutrient management plans, conditional use permits including public meetings), restrictive zoning, and caps limiting the size of these facilities.




Animal Feeding Operations Unified Strategy [pdf] National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), US EPA. USDA and EPA released the Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations on March 9, 1999. The Unified Strategy sets forth a framework of actions that USDA and EPA plan to take under existing and legal regulatory authority to reduce water quality and public health impacts from improperly managed animal wastes.  

A Checklist for Feedlot Siting and Environmental Compliance - Scott Birchall, Carrington Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University; One of the most important decisions to be made when planning any livestock facility is site selection. The site for the feedlot operation must not only be suitable for housing, handling and feeding cattle, but also must ensure that surface and ground waters are protected and that the impact from odors are minimized.

Interesting series of papers on Sustainable Farming by Dr. John Ikerd, Prof. Emeritus, U. of Missouri - Complete set of Papers  [3572 KB pdf] (approx. 65, up to 2002).

An Analysis of Local Benefits And Costs of Michigan Hog Operations Experiencing Environmental Conflicts (abstract only)-  Mark Abeles-Allison and Larry J. Connor,  Agricultural Economics Report #536, Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University,  East Lansing, Michigan 48824;  June,1990 - This report examines local benefits and costs associated with hog operations for which odor complaints had been received in Michigan. A regression analysis approach was used to determine the implicit prices of hog odors on property values. Property values were regressed against household and neighborhood characteristics of residential properties surrounding these hog farms. The benefit/cost ratios for a 500 and 5,000 head hog operations in a township with a $20 million State Equalized Valuation (SEV) are 5.64 and 3.86 respectively. The study indicates that the ratio of benefits to costs increase (improve) as SEV declines. This means that damages are dependent upon property value. As the amount of property value in the area declines, damages decline.

The Real Economics of Factory Livestock. John Ikerd, University of Missouri. Presented at 1999 Big River/Clean Water Week, sponsored by the Sierra Club, Washington, DC, June 10-15, 1999,. & at a Symposium, "Farm to Pork: Reclaiming our Food System From Corporate Giants," cosponsored by the Inst. for Agric. & Trade Policy, Izaak Walton League, and MN Farmers Union, Bloomington, MN, September 18, 1999.
Livestock factories are taking over the U.S. livestock-meat industry. In spite of growing opposition, the number and size of large-scale, corporate-owned, factory-like livestock operations continues to grow. Consequently, the number of smaller, independent, livestock farming operations continues to decline. Large, corporate feed lots have dominated cattle feeding for several decades. In 1998, for example, the largest 30 cattle feeding operations had pen space for nearly 5 million head of cattle – roughly half of the total number of cattle on feed at any given time over the past few years. Hog production, on the other hand, was almost entirely independently owned as recently as a decade ago. But, today the 50 largest hog operations control over half of total hog production, mostly through contractual arrangements. There is talk in the industry that contract beef cowherds will be next. 

On The Path to the Farm Factory, [321 KB PDF] Stuart Laidlaw, Business Reporter, The Toronto Star - An interesting article on a very large dairy farm in Southern Pennsylvania with 2,300 milking cows and about 5,000 cattle in total... one of the largest dairy operations in the Eastern USA.  `The phrase "factory farms" really does apply to these operations. Economies of scale is an industrial concept, and you hear farmers now talking about the need for economies of scale. It means they keep getting bigger and bigger'.  (from the 'World & Business Section, Toronto Star, Sunday, April 2, 2000).

Managing nitrogen pollution from intensive livestock production in the EU  - economic and environmental benefits of reducing nitrogen pollution by nutritional management in relation to the changing CAP regime and the Nitrates Directive. Brouwer, F., P. Hellegers, M. Hoogeveen and H. Luesink; The Hague, Agricultural Economics Research Inst. & Agencies (LEI), Report 2.99.04; ISBN 90-5242-494-2; Price NLG 47,- (includes 6% VAT)  129p., fig., tab. - This report investigates the role of nutritional management in the reduction of nitrogen pollution from intensive livestock units in Europe. Economic and environmental benefits are assessed in response to the 1992 CAP reform and the Nitrates Directive. In order to achieve a preventive method for the compliance with the Nitrates Directive, strong political directions are required, partly through linkages between agricultural and environmental policies, and nutritional management measures. Download this report  [2845 KB pdf file].

Understanding The Impacts Of Large-Scale Swine Production [813 KB pdf] - Proceedings from an Interdisciplinary Scientific Workshop, June 29-30, 1995 • Des Moines, Iowa - College of Public Health, Univ. of Iowa - The goal of the workshop was to generate scientific information to address a range of interrelated issues concerning large-scale swine production. The issues considered ranged from the direct and quantifiable, such as water quality, to the observable but less measurable, such as odor.  The study also considered issues that, while more subjective, such as social and neighborhood concerns, are no less factual and legitimate. The issue of health risks to the workers directly involved in swine production were also considered. Part of the success and value of the effort comes from this comprehensive approach which attempted to consider the full range of scientific issues relating to swine production, rather than focusing on discrete issues of economic performance. 

Bringing Home the Bacon? - The myth of the role of corporate hog farming in rural revitalization. A Report to the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Box 588, Poteau, OK 74593; T: 918-647-9123; F:918-647-8712;; The report provides information to help rural communities in Oklahoma and throughout the United States respond intelligently and appropriately when faced with rural development options. In particular the report, using data from Texas County, Oklahoma, illustrates the impacts of the recruitment of industrial swine production on a rural county. 

The Price we pay for Corporate Hogs. Marlene Halverson - July 2000 (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy) - The industrialization of U.S. animal agriculture has pressed on, unabated, for half a century, gradually changing the faces of American farming and rural communities. The changes wrought by industrialization are occurring in all of animal agriculture. This report focuses on the impacts of hog factories.  ( Interactive PDF Version of report - 1061 KB).

Confined Animal Production and Manure Nutrients - Noel Gollehon, Margriet Caswell, Marc Ribaudo, Robert Kellogg, Charles Lander, and David Letson - Economic Res. Service Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 771. 40 pp, June 2001.    Census of agriculture data were used to estimate manure nutrient production and the capacity of cropland and pastureland to assimilate nutrients. Most farms (78 percent for nitrogen and 69 percent for phosphorus) have adequate land on which it is physically feasible to apply the manure produced on-farm at agronomic rates.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO): Final Rule, 2008,US EPA.

Managing Manure Nutrients at Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (Draft) Jan. 2001 [pdf] - US EPA, Office of Water, Washington, DC - manual discusses the applicability and implementation of the proposed effluent limitations guidelines and standards (ELGs) and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).





Bruce T. Bowmanan, Archivist
Last Updated: Saturday, February 02, 2019 12:18:46 PM