A state lawmaker wants to make premises registration voluntary for farmers, rather than mandatory.
Farmers across the state are being required by DATCP to register their property and livestock. State Representative Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) says that wasn't the intent of the original legislation.
Suder says state agriculture officials told lawmakers during hearings on the bill that there would be exemptions in the system for certain farmers. He says believes officials lied to lawmakers by making the system mandatory for all operations.
The rule has resulted in lawsuits , with the state trying to get farmers to comply with the system. Several Amish farmers have refused to comply, based on their religious beliefs.
Suder is introducing a bill that would require DATCP to make the system voluntary, which he maintains was the original intent of the law.
State agriculture officials are currently reviewing Suder's proposal.