SALISBURY, Md. - Following a public forum on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations hosted by Wicomico County back in March, opponents of the CAFO's have organized their own town hall for later this month.
Monday morning, officials from the Wicomico County Branch of the NAACP, the Circle of Leaders, and Concerned Citizens Against Industrial CAFO's held a press conference to announce to the town hall. The town hall will be held May 19 at 5 p.m. in Conway Hall at Salisbury University. There will be a panel of poultry and CAFO experts on hand to have a discussion and question and answer session with the audience.
The leaders of these groups not only announced the town hall, but called for more action in Wicomico County in regards to large scale poultry farming.
The Wicomico County Council continues to work on a draft of new zoning ordinances for poultry houses in the county. Once the draft is complete, it will be sent to the Planning and Zoning department. Once approved, the county council will vote on the new rules, something county leaders say could happen as soon as next month.
However, opponents of the large scale poultry operations in the county believe county leaders need to go one step further in the regulation of the industry.
"A health ordinance basically will not only protect the public health, but put the county into adoption that these are a problem. We do need to protect, not only the public, but the environment's health," said Gabby Cammarata, a member of Concerned Citizens Against Industrial CAFO's. Cammarata said she and members of the group are not against the poultry industry, but oppose the large-scale operations that could have a negative impact on their everyday lives.
Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver told WBOC on Monday the poultry industry, including regulations governing health and environmental impacts, are regulated at the state level. Culver said any changes to those types of regulations would come from the state and not Wicomico County.