Livestock Market Bill Heads to President
September 30, 2016

The Senate on Thursday sent the Clarification of Treatment of Electronic Sales of Livestock Act to the White House. The bill would amend the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 to ensure that the law's protections are extended to online or video livestock auctions.

The bill would also ensure modern electronic banking options. The Senate approved H.R. 5883 - the companion bill to S. 3350 by Sens. Thad Cochran (Miss.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) - by unanimous consent.

Like all businesses, livestock auctions have evolved as technology has allowed for new forms of buying and selling livestock, such as video and online sales. As a result, modern methods of payment, such as use of credit cards, have become commonplace in the livestock marketing industry. H.R. 5883 revises the Packers and Stockyards Act to ensure that these types of businesses and forms of payment are allowed under the act.

H.R. 5883, introduced by Rep. David Rouzer (N.C.), will clarify that Packers and Stockyards Act provisions apply to online or video auctions, just as they do for fixed-facility livestock market transactions. The legislation would also authorize modern electronic payment methods, including credit and debit cards or the Automated Clearing House payments system. The law currently authorizes only the use of checks or wire transfers to settle livestock sales.

H.R. 5883 has the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, Livestock Marketing Association, National Cattlemen's Beef Association., National Farmers Union, National Livestock Producers Association and United States Cattlemen's Association.

Reprinted in part from FeedStuff