House passes Price Reporting Act, Vet Bill

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – The House was applauded on Sept. 15 by the National Pork Producers Council (N.P.P.C.) for approving legislation to reauthorize the law requiring meat packers to report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) the prices they pay producers for animals. Previously was approved by the Senate, the legislation now goes to the President to be signed into law.

It reauthorizes the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, for five years and includes new provisions requiring weekly reporting of pork exports – by price and volume – and of wholesale pork cuts.

“We applaud House passage of legislation reauthorizing the mandatory price reporting law,” said Sam Carney, N.P.P.C. president and a pork producer from Adair, Iowa. “And the addition of export and wholesale cuts reporting will further help producers like me make business and production decisions.”

The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act is what provides transparency and certainty in the livestock markets and allows competition to thrive, Carney said. “The new provision for wholesale pork reporting will make pricing data more fully reflect the marketplace today,” he added. “The pork industry has changed since the reporting act was first adopted in 1999.”

House Agriculture Committee members Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; Ranking Member Frank Lucas, R-Okla.; David Scott, D-Ga., chairman of the livestock subcommittee; and Randy Neugebauer, ranking member of the livestock subcommittee, were praised by Carney for their leadership on the issue. In the Senate, Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., led the fight to reauthorize the reporting act.

U.S.D.A. is now being urged by N.P.P.C. to move quickly to develop a system for the wholesale pork cuts and pork exports reporting.

Also approved on Sept. 15 in the House was the “Veterinarian Services Investment Act,” sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., which would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a grant program to “develop, implement and sustain” veterinary service to help relieve a shortage of veterinarians, particularly large-animal veterinarians. The program would include recruitment efforts and financial aid for veterinary students. The measure was strongly supported by N.P.P.C., which also is backing a companion Senate bill, S. 3621.
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