Release No.: 122-19
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2019 – As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, on Aug. 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with Empacadora y Procesadora del Sur Inc. (Empacadora) of Coamo, Puerto Rico, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Empacadora waived its right to a hearing and paid a penalty of $3,000.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in June 2018 revealed Empacadora purchased 427 head of livestock for a total of $251,085 and charged livestock sellers a slaughter fee of $60 per head for each of these transactions.
Charging a slaughter fee, in connection with the purchase of livestock in commerce, to the seller of the livestock is 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. USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and enter into a stipulation agreement to quickly resolve alleged violations.
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 Stuart Frank, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (515) 323-2586, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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