The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that the Worth County, IA, ordinance regulating livestock production is “void and unenforceable” because it violates state law that prohibits counties from regulating livestock operations.

The court noted that livestock production is to be expressly regulated by the state, says Eldon McAfee, legal counsel for the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

In 2001, Worth County enacted a county ordinance called the Rural Health and Family Farm Protection Ordinance. It set standards for toxic and odorous air emissions and worker safety and water pollution for confinement feeding operations. Agricultural groups challenged the ordinance, a district court agreed the statute was invalid and illegal, and the county appealed to the higher court.