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MORATORIUM ON HOG FARMS NEEDS EXTENSION, HUNT SAYS
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MORATORIUM ON HOG FARMS NEEDS EXTENSION, HUNT SAYS

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Gov. Jim Hunt supports extending the current hog farm moratorium for six more months, his spokesman said.

When Hunt voiced support for a moratorium last year, ``he wanted to make sure science and technology caught up with the growth in the industry,' spokesman Sean Walsh said Wednesday. ``The governor has been watching the progress very carefully ... and he has become convinced that the technology is not there yet.'The issue is pending before a state House committee, where Rep. Joe Hackney, D-Orange, has proposed extending the current moratorium on industrial-size hog farms by 19 months, until October 2000. So far his proposal has failed.

But some lawmakers are talking about a compromise measure that would extend the moratorium, which will expire in March, for six months until the end of the 1999 legislative session.

Walsh said Hunt believes six months is a sufficient extension for now. The governor may be willing to consider additional extensions later, he said.

Hunt's stance was criticized by the N.C. Pork Council, which released a statement Wednesday that accuses him of supporting ``legislation that very well could put many of North Carolina's smaller farmers out of business.'

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