Got Milk? ND lawmakers introduce bill to change definition of milk

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Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 9:30 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would change the definition of something you’ve probably got in your home right now.

How do you define milk? If you used the North Dakota Century Code as your dictionary, you’d say, “the lacteal secretion of a cow.” But House Bill 1255 would change that.

It would define milk as the lacteal secretion obtained by the complete milking of a healthy hooved mammal, including any member of the order Cetartiodactyla and including a member of the family Bovidae, Cervidae, and Equidae. That means, if this bill is passed, milk would come from animals like cattle, water buffalo, goats and yaks, reindeer, even horses and donkeys.

“Camels, water buffalo, there are some exotic ones, but I was like, if I’m doing this bill, I want to include everything so there’s no hard feelings, and if the zoo wants to milk camels and sell it, they can I guess so,” said Representative Dawson Holle, a Republican from Mandan.

Representative Holle says this is a small step that he believes will grow the dairy industry.

Representative Holle also introduced a bill that would allow North Dakota dairy farmers to sell raw milk directly to customers. That one hasn’t been scheduled yet.