WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a complaint Aug. 12 against Great Lakes Cattle Marketing Company LLC and Gary Labor of Saint Louis, Mich., for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service revealed that during October 2017, Great Lakes Cattle Marketing Company LLC and Gary Labor failed to pay timely for livestock purchases totaling $1,502,028 and failed to pay the full purchase price for these livestock purchases in which $1,017,801 remains unpaid.
The investigation also revealed that Great Lakes Cattle Marketing Company LLC and Gary Labor issued 11 checks for livestock purchases totaling $576,110 without sufficient funds in its bank account to support the payment of those checks.
The P&S Act requires subject entities to issue the full payment for livestock by the close of the first business day following purchase and transfer of possession. Failure to timely pay for livestock purchases and failure to issue the full payment for purchases is an unfair trade practice and a violation of the P&S Act.
Great Lakes Cattle Marketing Company LLC and Gary Labor will have 20 calendar days following receipt of the complaint to respond directly to the USDA Administrative Law Judge or be found in violation and subject to penalty.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $11,000 per violation against any person after the notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. If the allegations are admitted or proven in an oral hearing, Great Lakes Cattle Marketing Company LLC and Gary Labor may be ordered to cease and desist from violating the P&S Act and assessed a civil penalty.
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 [email protected].