Florida court orders state to pay farmer $505K over pregnant pigs

Man was forced to close down farm because of amendment prohibiting confinement

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appeals court is siding with a former pig farmer who says voters put him out of business.

The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that the state owes a Panhandle farmer $505,000 plus interest because he had to shut down his pig farm.

Stephen Basford closed down his pork production operation after voters approved an amendment in 2002 that banned the confinement of pregnant pigs. He sued the state in 2010 for the cost of the barns and other equipment he had used.

Lawyers with the state argued Basford had waited too long to sue. But the court sided with Basford because the amendment did not take effect until 2008.

The state also unsuccessfully argued Basford did not deserve compensation because he continued to raise other crops.

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