A new bill in Utah would restrict regulations for a wide range of animal industries, including factory farms.

In Utah, legislators are fast-tracking a deeply troubling bill that would ban local jurisdictions from prohibiting the operation of an “animal enterprise.” The unbelievably broad category includes puppy mills, pet stores, rodeos, medical research, or any business that uses animals or animal-derived products for profit, such as grocery stores “or even a car dealer that sells leather interiors,” The Intercept reports. Most notably, it also includes factory farms. While the bill’s sponsors, including Republican farmer-legislator Rep. Joel Ferry, claim the bill has nothing to do with local governments’ ability to regulate factory farms in their communities, this is a laughable claim. The bill characterizes farms and feedlots as animal enterprises. Rural Utah communities have spent the last several years fighting pig operations in the state and according to The Intercept, “state legislators have sought ways to force counties to accept them.” Notably, a 2021 law requires counties to designate space for “concentrated animal feeding operations” (CAFOs)—also known as factory farms. The new bill, which may pass the state Senate as soon as Friday, would limit local governments from regulating these farms. —Tina Vasquez