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Perdue Farms

Maryland lawmakers take aim at chicken manure

Maryland lawmakers take aim at chicken manure

A group of state lawmakers wants to require big poultry companies to be responsible for the manure from their chickens that are raised on family farms — forcing a change in practice that the industry has opposed.

The Poultry Litter Requirement Act has the backing of top Democrats in the General Assembly but is likely to face stiff opposition from the poultry industry, which has a major foothold on the Eastern Shore and a powerful voice in Annapolis.

"Those individuals who are making the mess need to clean up the mess," said Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a Baltimore Democrat who chairs the Senate's Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.