Curt Woodward, writer for the Associated Press, reports that two bills that force small dairies that participate in “cow-share” programs to be licensed and inspected were spurred by an E. coli outbreak last month, in which raw milk from an unlicensed small dairy in Cowlitz County was linked to illnesses in 18 people in Washington and Oregon.
The state Agriculture Department, which regulates dairies, already considers such arrangements illegal if the distributors are not licensed.
Although the necessity for safety is understood, small dairies are worried about the impending additional cost of licensing and inspections.