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DANVILLE, Ind. (October 7, 2015) – Imagine having 8,000 animals living in your backyard. That is the reality for many Hoosier families forced to live next to massive industrial style farms.

The Right to Farm Act protects massive, factory style farms and in the process, drastically changes the quality of life for folks living nearby.

“Out of my 74 years I’ve probably lived here 46 or 47 of those years,” said Richard Himsel of his Danville, Indiana home.

But for Himsel, the home that’s there now is hardly the same one he grew up in.

“We do know when the hogs were moved in and we started smelling them within three days,” he said.

In 2013 8,000 hogs moved in next door. Himsel’s cousin owns the land where the hogs now reside. Now, two years later, Himsel is suing his cousin for what he says is a destroyed quality of life.

“When you live in it and smell it basically 18 hours out of a 24 hour period when the wind’s right, it just really nauseous. My wife gets a headache, she gets coughing, she gets a sore throat,” said Himsel.

The smell from the nearby farm is so bad that Himsel’s wife had to move out. The couple, both on social security was forced to return to work after the value of their property has tanked.

“Somebody could call me and ask me about my property and I say well I live next to a hog barn and they say well we’re not interested at all. They wouldn’t even come and look at it,” he said.

“Big, industrial ag has been able to shield itself from liability from the right to farm law,” said Kim Ferraro, an attorney with the Hoosier Environmental Council.

Himsel is part of a lawsuit filed by the Hoosier Environmental Council on behalf of families living in Hendricks County, that is aiming to take down parts of the Indiana Right to Farm Act which the HEC claims unjustly allows massive, factory-style farms to decimate local quality of life.

“First and foremost is to get our clients’ lives back. They deserve to be able to enjoy their homes and properties just like everybody else does,” said Ferraro.

It will likely take years for the lawsuit to play out in court. There have been similar cases filed in other states that have not been successful.