WASHINGTON, June 26, 2020 – As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, on May 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with Lewiston Sales Inc. (Lewiston), doing business as Arcadia Stockyards for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Lewiston waived his right to a hearing and paid a penalty of $5,050.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service revealed that from February through April 2019, Lewiston failed to offer some livestock consigned to its sales to all buyers, and instead, allowed an owner and officer of Lewiston to buy consigned livestock without competition. For these consignments Lewiston issued accounts of sale to the consignor improperly indicating the livestock had been sold by Lewiston during its sale through the ring.
The P&S Act requires market agencies selling on commission to offer consigned livestock for sale to all available buyers. They must also not form relationships with livestock dealers which lessen their loyalty to their consignors. Failure to do so 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. 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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