Cameron Residents Trying To Prevent Industrial Chicken Houses From Moving Into The Area

CAMERON, Okla. (KFSM) — Residents of Cameron, Oklahoma gathered at the Reynolds Community Center in Poteau Thursday (Jan. 16) as they try to prevent some chicken houses from moving into the area.

Oklahoma State Representative Lundy Kiger attended the second town hall meeting about the topic.

The residents of Cameron are working to keep thousands of chickens from moving in just hundreds of feet from their property.

This second meeting comes two months after the first.

“We’re not against poultry, we’re not against chicken houses, we’re against that many in one spot,” said resident Christl Cowle.

OK Foods proposed building industrial-sized chicken houses in Southern Cameron. Residents are concerned with the proximity to everyday life.

“That is 56 houses close, in a small radius of a town a school a neighborhood,” Cowle said.

They say this amount of houses will create a foul smell and run-down property values.

“My home is three years old and I’m afraid that if I ever wanted to sell on it it’s not gonna be worth what I owe on it,” Cowle said.

There are currently eight chicken houses near the town of Cameron and Oklahoma State Representative Lundy Kiger says nearby schools have trouble dealing with the smell.

“They’re having difficulty when they’re playing softball, baseball, parents can’t enjoy themselves and they actually had a graduation in May, electricity went out on the building and everybody had to go outside and they said they could hardly stand it,” Kiger said.

The people of Cameron want to make it clear that their goal is to keep their neighborhood the way its been.

“We’re not against OK Foods, we’re not against the growers. What we are against is the large concentration in a small area,” resident Kendall Ballew said.

Tonight they passed around a petition for an injunction for people to sign stating whether the current chicken houses or the soon to be houses will cause a nuisance to their property.

Representative Kiger says he plans to pursue legislation about proximity between farms and towns.

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