WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association (Equity) of Baraboo, Wis., on Nov. 17, 2022, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Equity waived its rights to a hearing and paid a penalty of $7,800.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that from May 2021 through July 2021 and June 2022, Equity created false and misleading records in connection with its livestock selling activities.
The P&S Act requires subject entities to keep and maintain records that accurately disclose the full nature of the transaction. Failure to represent and properly account for the sale of livestock is a violation of the P&S Act.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $31,459 per violation against any person after notice and opportunity for a 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 Kraig Roesch, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (303) 375-4291 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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