The U.S. House of Representatives this week approved the Mandatory Price Reporting Act (MPR) of 2010 (S.3656).
"It is critical to the lamb industry that price reporting remain mandatory as the system that has been in place since 2002 has removed the volatility of lamb prices that were experienced in the 1990s," stated Glen Fisher (Texas), president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). "We are pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives followed the lead of the Senate and approved the legislation before it expired on Sept. 30."
The MPR legislation will reauthorize price reporting programs run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for five years. The legislation requires livestock sales information to be reported and published in a timely fashion, allowing buyers and sellers to make more informed decisions.
"The transparent, timely and accurate market information provided by MPR programs is a vital and necessary tool for agriculture producers," House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (Minn.) said.
The House Agriculture Committee passed MPR legislation (H.R.5852) on July 28. To ensure timely implementation, the full House approved the identical Senate-passed bill from early August. The act now goes to the President's desk for his signature. ASI led the livestock and meat industry coalition in 2010 to secure reauthorization.
Also approved was the Veterinary Services Investment Act. This bill would establish a competitive grant program at USDA to support efforts to increase access to veterinary care in underserved areas.
"Rural areas are facing a critical and growing shortage of large animal veterinarians. These veterinarians are the first lines of defense against animal disease and a crucial player in ensuring the safety of our food. This bill will encourage veterinarians to serve these areas where their skills are needed," Peterson said.
The Veterinary Services Investment Act now moves to the Senate for consideration.