Judge: Jury won't take smell tour of North Carolina hog farm

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Judge: Jury won't take smell tour of North Carolina hog farm
FILE -This July 21, 2017 file photo shows young hogs at Everette Murphrey Farm in Farmville, N.C. A federal lawsuit starting in April 2018, in the country’s No. 2 pork-producing state is the first of a string of cases deciding whether open-air animal waste pits are such a nuisance that neighbors can’t enjoy their own property. The North Carolina trial’s outcome could shake the profits and change production methods of pork producers who have enjoyed legislative protection and promotion in one of the nation’s food centers. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge says he won’t send jurors for a see-and-sniff tour of a North Carolina hog-growing operation at the center of a lawsuit claiming industrial-scale pork production causes ugly conditions.

Judge W. Earl Britt ruled Monday that jurors would not get a true feel for conditions with one quick visit to a Bladen County farm growing animals for Virginia’s Smithfield Foods.

Britt’s decision came as jurors were being selected for a trial that could shake the profits and change production methods of pork producers after a generation of raising hogs in confined conditions. The trial could take six weeks.

Lawyers for the farm’s neighbors said the jury tour was requested just as the farm was removing millions of gallons of waste for the first time in 23 years.