Processors and producers who buy and sell livestock through online, video or other electronic means would fall under transaction regulations in the Packers and Stockyards Act as part of legislation approved by the House Agriculture Committee September 14.
HR 5883 would amend the 1921 law to expand the definition of “market agency” to include those who buy and sell livestock electronically, not just at a physical facility. The bill also specifies that funds used to purchase livestock can be transferred to the seller electronically or in any other manner that USDA finds appropriate.
The Packers and Stockyards Act offers financial protections for livestock producers engaged in transactions with packers, such as a requirement that meat packers with annual purchases over $500,000 be bonded, as well as trust protections for producers in case of nonpayment by a buyer. The bill would clarify that those protections include more modern avenues for livestock sales, such as the internet.