TULSA, Okla. – Poultry companies told a federal judge Wednesday that Oklahoma’s attempts to stop the spreading of poultry waste in the Illinois River watershed uses unreliable evidence.

The Associated Press reported that Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson requested a preliminary injunction in November against the poultry companies. He argued that unless the court grants the request by spring, the fecal bacteria found in poultry waste could pose a health threat to the 155,000 people who recreate in the river valley annually.

The injunction request is part of Edmondson's ongoing lawsuit against more than a dozen Arkansas-based poultry companies accused of polluting the Illinois River watershed with chicken litter, according to the news service.

Edmondson sued the poultry companies in 2005, saying litter pollution rendered Lake Tenkiller in northeastern Oklahoma 70 percent oxygen dead, the AP said.

Named in the 2005 complaint are Tyson Foods Inc., Tyson Poultry Inc., Tyson Chicken Inc., Cobb-Vantress Inc., Aviagen Inc., Cal-Maine Foods Inc., Cargill Inc., Cargill Turkey Production L.L.C., George's Inc., George's Farms Inc., Peterson Farms Inc., Simmons Foods Inc., Cal-Maine Farms Inc. and Willow Brook Foods Inc.