USDA Announces New Rule Under Packers and Stockyards Act

The USDA announced the finalization of the “Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act.” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says this new rule is about advancing access to economic opportunities.

“That’s why we at USDA are committed to issuing stronger and newer rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act to provide greater clarity and strengthen enforcement under the Act. And the latest major milestone towards achieving this goal, I’m pleased to say that the final rule, which we refer to as the Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act Rule, is going to help producers and growers who have become increasingly vulnerable to a range of practices that unjustly exclude them from economic opportunity and disadvantage them and undermine market integrity in the livestock and poultry industry.”

He says the new rule will provide more effective standards in ensuring a competitive marketplace.

“The Packers and Stockyards Act prohibits unjust discrimination, undue prejudice, and deception, and this final rule will provide for a clearer, more effective standard by which to govern all of this in the modern marketplace.”

Vilsack talks about how the new rule helps make the marketplace more competitive.

“The final rule prohibits as unjust discrimination and undue prejudice, adverse treatment against livestock producers and poultry growers by packers, swine contractors, and live poultry dealers based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, marital status, or age. It also prohibits discrimination against a livestock and poultry producer cooperative. The rule identifies retaliatory practices as those that interfere with lawful communications or refusal to communicate, interfere with the assertion of contract or rights or packers and stockyard rights, interfere with the participation in associations or cooperatives, interfere with the exploring or entering into a business relationship with a competing packer, swine contractor, or live poultry dealer, and certain other protective activities as unjust discrimination prohibited by law.”

The final rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. More information on the new rule is available at