Right-to-Farm Legislation in British Columbia

Melina Laverty
November 14, 2008

University of Toronto Law School
Prepared for Environment Probe

As their popular name suggests, “right-to-farm” laws are a form of statutory protection of farmers.1 While laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, their main purpose is to protect farmers from lawsuits, primarily those based on nuisance. The first such legislation was enacted in the United States in 1963 to protect feedlots in Kansas. By 1994, every state had enacted some form of right-to-farm law.2 Canadian provinces followed their lead, and eventually every province across Canada implemented some form of right-to-farm law [see Table 1]. British Columbia enacted its first right-to-farm law in 1989.

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