What to Look for—Logistical and Local Information

Once you are familiar with the local laws and permitting rules required in your province and municipality, county or planning district, you will need to review the factory farm proposal for its consistency with the applicable laws, regulations and guidelines.

It is important to involve as many volunteers and neighbors as possible who are familiar with the surrounding geography in your area so as to identify any weak points in the proposal. Local ecological knowledge plays an important role in helping your group identify errors in the proposal. Do not assume that the information supplied by the proponent is correct. Also, assume that your provincial government agencies are supportive of the project and will provide minimal support and information to those who oppose the development.

Errors in the proposal can be used to enhance your strategy and weaken the integrity of the proposal and the credibility of the proponent.

Things to know—General background information

  • name of developer
  • type of facility (hog, dairy, feedlot, poultry)
  • number of animals proposed at facility
  • number of animal units proposed
  • municipality (or county) facility is proposed in
  • time frame (key dates for hearings, meeting, deadlines, appeals etc.)


How close is this proposal to nearby residents and different community entities and infrastructure, including:

  • nearest city/town
  • nearest freeway and local roads to be used
  • nearest feed mill
  • nearby residences, businesses, schools, day care centres, nursing homes, churches, tourism sites, recreation areas
  • nearest hospital

Local regulations

Find out about any local government by-law or regulation that may apply to agriculture. Local approvals are usually required for any type of proposed development. A factory farm may be designated as discretionary/conditional use or as a permitted use within your community’s planning scheme. Depending on the province, local decision-making will be required if the ILO is designated as a discretionary/conditional use. Find the following information:

  • minimum setback distances
  • county/municipal resolutions dealing with ILOs
  • township/planning district resolutions
  • development plans and ILO policies
  • zoning and land use by-laws
  • other bylaws that may be applicable (i.e., waste disposal, health)
  • public notification procedure triggered by proposal
  • appeal process for local decisions