Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Published by University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Livestock Environmental Issues Committee.


Nebraska Livestock Nuisance Law

Until 1976 the Nebraska Supreme Court had ruled that animal feeding operations (AFOs) located in rural areas did not legally constitute a nuisance unless the AFO were improperly operated. However, in 1976 the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that a rural AFO may constitute a nuisance even if properly operated. This decision made AFO operators liable for the first time in Nebraska if their AFO constituted a nuisance.
In 1977 the Nebraska Unicameral adopted an amendment to the Nebraska Environmental Policy Act defining when AFOs would legally constitute a nuisance. Basically, the statute said that an AFO was not a nuisance (1) if the AFO was there first, (2) if the AFO complied with all state and local regulations, and (3) if best management practices to minimize dust, odors and other nuisance factors were used in the AFO. In 1982 the Unicameral adopted the Nebraska Right to Farm Act, which gave farmers broader protection against nuisance lawsuits.