Bill to allow packer-owned hogs in Nebraska defeated

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ An effort to lift Nebraska’s ban on hogs owned by meatpackers has failed to advance in the Legislature.

Supporters fell two votes short Wednesday of the support they needed to break a filibuster on a second-round vote. Opponents argued that the ban protects small and independent producers.

Opponents say the bill would allow major corporations, such as the Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods, to squeeze out small and independent farmers and control the supply chain. They pointed to the poultry industry, where consolidations have given a handful of processors substantial leverage over producers because of their market dominance.

Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala says the bill would have kept the hog industry growing as fast as in neighboring states that have outpaced Nebraska.

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