The Department of Agriculture this week announced a new Dealer Statutory Trust to Protect Livestock Sellers. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed in December, amended the Packers and Stockyards Act by adding language to establish a “Dealer Statutory Trust” for the benefit of unpaid cash sellers of livestock.
Much like the existing packer and poultry trusts, the amendment requires livestock dealers to hold all livestock purchased. If livestock has been resold, the receivables or proceeds from such sale, in trust for the benefit of all unpaid cash sellers of livestock until full payment has been received by those sellers. Dealers whose average annual livestock purchases do not exceed $100,000 are exempt.
Livestock sellers who do not receive timely payment from a dealer may file claims on the dealer’s statutory trust. Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California applauded the move. The Democrat states, “I am pleased that USDA has taken the necessary steps to put these protections in place for the benefit of livestock sellers throughout our country.”