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Wisconsin appeals court rules against raw milk producers

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Wisconsin appeals court has ruled against two raw milk producers.

Both cases involved licensing disputes -- not whether somebody has the right to buy or drink unpasteurized milk.

The 4th District appellate court in Madison ruled Thursday in favor of the state Ag Department, and against dairy farmers in Calumet and Walworth counties. The cases were consolidated at the appellate level.

In the Walworth County case, a coalition called "Nourished by Nature" paid a fee to a dairy farm, where the group obtained raw milk for their members' own use. The state called it a "sham arrangement," and farmers Mark and Petra Zinniker went to the courts to see if it was legal.

The Ag Department and the courts both ruled that the farmers produced the milk without a license -- which it lost in 2009 when 35 people got sick drinking their raw milk.

In the Calumet County case, the appellate judges said the owners of a farm store in New Holstein needed a retail license to sell raw milk to an association in which members paid a fee. The state issued a license, but told the owners they could not sell raw milk.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)