WASHINGTON, April 2, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a complaint on Feb. 8, 2021, against Antonio Chavez (Chavez) d.b.a. Buffalo Cattle Company LLC and The Cattle Finder LLC of El Paso, Texas, for alleged violation of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that from October 2019 through January 2020, Chavez failed to pay and failed to timely pay the full purchase price of livestock in 91 transactions, including 17 transactions where he still owes $579,232 to livestock sellers.
The P&S Act requires subject entities to issue the full payment for livestock by the close of the first business day following purchase and transfer of possession. Failure to pay promptly for livestock purchases is an unfair trade practice and a violation of the P&S Act.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $28,061 per violation against any person after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. If the allegations are admitted or proven in an oral hearing, Chavez may be ordered to cease and desist from continuing violations of the P&S Act and assessed a civil penalty.
The P&S Act is a fair-trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat, and poultry industries.
For further information about the Packers and Stockyards Act, contact Jeana Harbison, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (202) 720-7051, or by email at Jeana.M.Harbison@usda.gov