Release No.: 011-20
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2020 – As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, on Nov. 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with Robert Farias Jr., Kunoa Cattle Company LLC, doing business as Ranch Company and Kunoa Cattle Company of Kapolei, Hawaii (Farias) for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Farias waived its rights to a hearing, and paid a penalty of $3,400.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service revealed that Farias operated as a packer without a bond from March 22, 2018, through May 22, 2018, purchasing 115 head of cattle for slaughter, totaling $51,085. Additionally, the investigation revealed that Farias operated as a dealer, without a bond, from Feb. 1, 2018, through May 18, 2018, and failed to pay timely for the purchase of 299 head of cattle, totaling $134,663.
The P&S Act requires that every market agency, packer and dealer must maintain a bond applicable to the activity or activities in which the entity engages. Operating without an adequate bond or bond equivalent is a violation of the P&S Act.
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 timely pay for livestock purchases and failure to issue the full payment for purchases 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 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 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 email@example.com.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender