On April 7, 2022, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced the Amplifying Processing of Livestock in the United States Act, or the A-PLUS Act.

The bill would allow livestock auction markets to hold an ownership interest in, finance, or participate in the management or operation of a packing facility that has a slaughter capacity of less than 2,000 animals per day or 700,000 animals per year.

Currently livestock auction yards are NOT allowed to finance or manage processing facilities—a regulation that dates back to terminal livestock markets in the 1900s when there was little separation between buying and selling agents.

USCA President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:

“The Packers & Stockyards Act is over one hundred years old—it’s time to modernize parts of this historic legislation that no longer make sense in the modern world.

“Today’s livestock auctions are often family-owned and regionally based. If one of these entities wanted to invest in a local processing facility to increasing processing capacity for producers in their area, there shouldn’t be an outdated regulation holding them back from doing so. USCA would like to thank Representatives Panetta and Hartzler, and the Livestock Marketing Association, for working to advance this commonsense regulatory fix.”

Read the bill here.