Pork Producers Watch Florida Lawsuit

Spencer, IA:Livestock producers are watching with interest a Florida court case.

Florida passed a constitutional amendment in 2002 that prohibited the housing of pregnant sows in gestation crates. A year later, plaintiff Stephen Basford shut down his swine operation, saying he was unable to afford the estimated $600,000 in costs needed to stop using gestation stalls and convert to another production system. His “inverse condemnation” lawsuit against the state alleged the amendment rendered his buildings and equipment useless.

Basford’s lawsuit asked that he be compensated for the loss of improvements rendered useless by the Florida amendment.

Last week a Florida appeals court agreed that Basford’s facilities couldn’t be used for any purpose than raising pigs. The court’s awarded him $505,000.