Reuters : Midwest cattle farmers complain of government "spying"Submitted by meekandmild on Wed, 06/06/2012 - 14:19
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Cattle farmers complained on Wednesday that a federal agency is "spying" on their operations by flying airplanes over Midwest cattle feedlots to see if they are complying with clean water regulations.
The livestock producers and some members of Congress from rural areas want to know why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is using airplanes to monitor whether feedlots are obeying the Clean Water Act.
"The federal government has literally resorted to spying on producers," said Kristen Hassebrook, natural resources and environmental affairs director for the Nebraska Cattlemen.
The Daily Caller: EPA drones spy on farmers
The surveillance has so far covered Region 7 (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri), but has focused on Nebraska and Iowa because of the high concentration of livestock feeding operations in a watershed that has a history of contamination.
Nebraska Republican Rep. Adrian Smith, who co-chairs the Modern Agriculture Caucus and the Congressional Rural Caucus, told The New American, “landowners deserve legitimate justification given the sensitivity of the information gathered by flyovers”.