The USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) announced that it is delaying the effective date of the Scope of Sections 202 (a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act Interim Final Rule until October 19, 2017. They also announced they are asking the public to comment on four possible actions USDA should take in regards to the disposition of the Interim Final Rule. The comment due date is June 12, 2017.
“The extension allows ample time for stakeholders to review the effects of the Scope Interim Final Rule on their operations, and ensures maximum opportunity for dialogue across every segment of the livestock, meat, and poultry industries,” said GIPSA Acting Administrator Randall Jones.
U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, welcomed the announcement and said, “I commend USDA for extending the effective date of this disastrous rule. This extension will allow for the incoming Secretary of Agriculture to fully analyze the effects of the rule and consider the recently submitted public comments,” said Roberts.
Animal agriculture also chimed in. “With this extension notice, it is clear the administration has recognized this is a complicated and controversial issue with deep economic consequences for American poultry and livestock producers,” said National Chicken Council (NCC) President Mike Brown. “The comments filed have obviously had an impact, and we thank the department for postponing the effective date to allow for a more thorough and meaningful review. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to resolve this issue during this ‘timeout period’ of further review.”
National Pork Producers Council President Ken Maschhoff, said, “We’re extremely pleased that the Trump administration has extended the time it has to review this regulation and the public comments on it, which will show the devastating effects this rule would have on America’s pork producers. The regulation likely would restrict the buying and selling of livestock, lead to consolidation of the livestock industry – putting farmers out of business – and increase consumer prices for meat.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Craig Uden, said, “This is another step toward common sense and away from counterproductive government intrusion in the free market. That said, while a delay is welcome, ultimately this rule should be killed and American cattle producers should be free to market our beef without the threat of government-sanctioned frivolous lawsuits.”