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Senate defeats proposed farming constitutional amendment

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Senate has defeated a proposal that would have added “right to farm” protections to the state’s constitution.

The Senate voted 28-22 Tuesday against the measure sponsored by Sen. Brent Steele.

The Bedford Republican told senators the state needs his “right to farm and ranch” constitutional protections because animal rights and environmental groups are trying to undermine Indiana farmers’ way of life.

Kim Ferraro of the Hoosier Environmental Council says she’s pleased the Senate defeated the resolution. She said in a statement the measure sought “to place unfair and unprecedented protection of Indiana’s industrial agriculture operators” into the state constitution.

The Humane Society of the United States’ Indiana director, Erin Huang, says the proposal would have altered the constitution “at the behest of a handful of agribusiness lobbyists.”