WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with Halal Farms USA Inc. (Halal Farms) of Shannon, Ill., on Dec. 8, 2020, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Halal Farms waived its rights to a hearing and paid a civil penalty of $600.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that in 85 transactions from March 4, through May 21, 2020, Halal Farms purchased 719 head of livestock on a carcass weight basis using trolleys that were not uniform in weight. In these transactions, Halal Farms also deducted a trolley tare weight that exceeded the standard weight of the trolleys used to purchase livestock on a carcass weight basis.
The P&S Act requires that the trolleys used to purchase livestock on a carcass weight basis be uniform in weight and that the scale tare weight not exceed the average weight of a representative sample of the trolleys. Failure to standardize the weight of trolleys used to purchase livestock on a carcass basis and using a trolley tare weight that exceeds the standard weight of the trolleys are violations 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 the 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 resolve alleged violations quickly.
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.
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