URGENT ACTION NEEDED!!
Herd shares; written shared herd ownership agreements, requirements, penalty.
Introduced by: Mark D. Obenshain
on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources docket for vote this Thursday February 1, 2018.
The meeting will take place 1/2 hour after Adjournment of the full Senate Session sometime after 2pm in Senate Room A, located on the ground floor of the Pocahontas Building, 900 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.
We will need to pack the room during the meeting, please come if you can. we will be meeting in the lobby, please arrive in between1:30 and 2:00pm.
Give yourself time for parking.
If you cannot come and attend the meeting, we need to flood the phone lines early in the day before the meeting. Please call and email the full Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources members if you can.
For more information on SB 962 listen to-
- The bill is an invasion ofprivate property rights. The herd share agreement is a private contract between the farmer and the consumer giving the consumer an ownership interest in a dairy animal. Distribution of milk through a herd share contract is a private transaction which should not be subject to government regulation.
- Herd shares should not be regulated under the guise of protecting the safety of the general public or general welfare because the public is not consuming the milk. Only the farm and the herd share owners are consuming the milk.
- Data tracking of herd share owners is not necessary because a high level of traceability already exists. If there is credible evidence that an illness is caused by milk from a shareholder dairy then the government can easily get a warrant to gain access to that information. Since only co-owners of the dairy animals obtain milk, it should be a violation of the 4th Amendment for the state to inspect herd share dairies without a warrant.
- The ability of the State to enter and inspect the home of farmer and the herd share owners without a warrant is a violation of the 4th Amendment right. In the event of an illness, the government can easily get a warrant to gain access to those locations if they are relevant to the investigation.
- The bill attempts to intimidate both farmers and herd share owners from entering into herd share contracts. It threatens criminal penalties for farmers of up to 12 months in jail and $2500 in fines per day of non-compliance, and it also threatens herd share owners with criminal penalties (i.e., if a herd share owner refuses to give the contract to the State upon request, or doesn’t report an illness to the state if that illness was later determined to be related to the raw milk).
- The bill attempts to intimidate share holders by making them targets for lawsuits. By stating the herd share owner “assumes joint liability,” lawyers may be more encouraged to include share holders in personal injury lawsuits. Existing law already addresses the issue of joint liability.
- The provisions of a private contract between individuals should be determined by the individuals, not the government.
Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources