Frequently Asked Questions About Regulated Entities

Who is NOT Subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act (Act)?

Farmers and ranchers are not subject to the Act when buying livestock for their own stocking or feeding purposes, or when marketing their own livestock. 

Who is Subject to the Act?

Those engaged in the business of marketing livestock, meat, and poultry in commerce are subject to the Act and regulations.  Regulated entities include stockyard owners, market agencies, dealers, packers, swine contractors, and live poultry dealers.

A business may be classified as a

Market Agency, if it

Dealer, if it

  • buys and sells livestock either on its own account or as the employee or agent of the vendor or purchaser.

Packer, if it

  • buys livestock for slaughter,
  • manufactures or prepares meats or meat food products for sale or shipment, or
  • markets meats, meat food products, or livestock products in an unmanufactured form acting as a wholesale broker, dealer, or distributor

Live Poultry Dealer, if it

  • purchases live poultry,
  • obtains live poultry under a poultry growing arrangement for slaughter or sells it for slaughter by another.

Swine Contractor, if it

  • obtains swine under a swine production contract for slaughter or sells it for slaughter by another.

What responsibilities do regulated entities have under the Act?

Select from the list below to see summary lists of responsibilities by type of entity:

Who is required to register and obtain bond coverage?

Market agencies and dealers must register with AMS's Packers and Stockyards Division (PSD) and obtain sufficient bond coverage before operating. Packers that purchase over $500,000 of livestock a year must have a sufficient bond in place to operate. "Bond" refers to either a surety bond or its financial equivalent.

Bond Trustees and Sureties

If a regulated entity doesn't have a registration requirement, what information does it have to provide to PSD?

All packers and live poultry dealers must provide PSD with information about their business operations by completing an inquiry form.

Registration, inquiry, and bond forms are available on this website. Forms must be completed and submitted to the nearest regional office for processing. For more guidance on the information that is required of regulated entities, please contact the nearest PSD regional office.