Buckeye Egg hens to keep laying during appeal

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SALEM, Ohio – The state Environmental Review Appeals Commission said hens can keep laying and Buckeye Egg Farm’s barns will remain open while the farm appeals a rule that ordered the barns’ closure.

Shutting it down. Buckeye Egg has appealed a July 8 decision by Ohio Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey to close all of its barns in four counties.

In the decision, Dailey revoked all 12 permits that allow the farm to operate, a power given to the department under the state’s livestock environmental permitting program.

He also denied 11 of the farm’s pending permit applications.

The company was to begin depopulating its facilities next week.

New owners? In a written release, officials from Buckeye Egg Farm said they were pleased with the decision and described it as “good for our employees, good for Ohio’s economy and will increase our chances of successfully negotiating the sale of Buckeye Egg to new owners.”

Buckeye Egg owner Anton Pohlmann is trying to sell each of the company’s farms located in Marion, Wyandot, Hardin and Licking counties.

The Marion Star reports, however, prospective buyers are only interested in active barns. Depopulation of the facilities would stop potential sales. Buckeye Egg officials were not available for comment.

Years of problems. Neighbors of the farm have complained for more than 10 years about insect infestation, manure spills and contaminated groundwater.

More than 15 million Buckeye Egg hens produce 2.4 billion eggs each year. It is the biggest egg-producing farm in Ohio and fourth largest in the nation.

The farm also raises pullets and operates a hatchery and breeding barn.

(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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