Nebraska Lifts Only Ban on Packer-owned Hogs in US

February 13, 2016 04:01 PM

The nation's only ban on meatpackers owning hogs has ended due to a new Nebraska law that allows processers to control the animals from birth to slaughter.

Gov. Pete Ricketts signed the measure Thursday.

Business and farming groups say the measure will help Nebraska's hog industry, which has grown slower than in other states.

Opponents have said the bill would give meatpackers too much leverage over farmers and make it harder for farmers who don't contract with big meatpackers to sell their hogs.

They also criticized Smithfield Foods, a Chinese-owned pork processor that has quietly advocated for the bill and contributed to at least 20 state lawmakers, Ricketts and Attorney General Doug Peterson.

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