Tennessee representative Andy Holt, former hog farmer and sponsor of the state’s failed ag-gag bill, created quite a stink when he dumped 800,000 gallons of pig manure into the streams and fields surrounding his hog farm. Holt’s lagoons were apparently overflowing with waste and Holt’s response was simply to dump the waste in the waters and lands nearby, with no regard for the environment or the law.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently sent a letter to Holt indicating that absent good cause it would take formal civil enforcement action against him. According to a Memphis news source, Tennessee state officials were considering taking action against Holt at the time this happened, but were “discouraged by upper management from doing so.
Holt’s disregard for the environment should come as no surprise. He was the main sponsor of a controversial ag-gag bill to prevent whistleblowers from documenting animal cruelty and criminal activity in Tennessee’s factory farms and slaughterhouses. That bill ultimately failed. Clearly, Holt’s staunch backing of that bill was more self-serving than it may have seemed.
This story makes clear what so many of us already knew: factory farmers blatantly disregard the environment and the animals they abuse and neglect to make a profit. To make matters worse, they’re fighting tooth and nail to hide it.
The best thing we can do to protect animals and the environment from factory farmers’ crap is to adopt a compassionate plant-based diet.
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