Large-scale animal farms' expired permits raise concerns

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources data show that about a third of the state's large-scale animal farms operate under expired permits, raising oversight-related concerns from residents and farmers.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports many of the permits for the concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, expired in 2016.

CAFO permits are issued every five years under federal and state rules, but it's not uncommon or illegal to operate a farm with an expired permit. Wisconsin Dairy Business Association spokesman John Holevoet says the rules allow permits to stay effective until they're reissued.

Department of Natural Resources officials say staffing levels haven't kept pace with the growing workload as the number of large farms increases.

Department spokesman Jim Dick says the agency added four new positions to increase large-scale farm inspections.

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