9 CFR 203.5 - Statement with respect to market agencies paying the expenses of livestock buyers.
It has become a practice in certain areas of the country for market agencies, engaged in the business of selling consigned livestock on a commission basis, to pay certain of the business or personal expenses incurred by buyers attending livestock sales conducted by such market agencies, such as, expenses for meals, lodging, travel, entertainment and long distance telephone calls. Investigation by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (Packers and Stockyards Programs), discloses that this practice tends to become a method of competition between similarly engaged market agencies and results in undue and unreasonable cost burdens on such market agencies and the livestock producers who sell their livestock through such market agencies.
It is the view of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (Packers and Stockyards Programs) that it constitutes violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as amended (7 U.S.C. 181 et seq.), for any market agency engaged in the business of selling consigned livestock on a commission basis, to pay, directly or indirectly, any personal or business expenses of livestock buyers attending sales conducted by such market agency. In the future, if any market agency engages in such practice, consideration will be given by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (Packers and Stockyards Programs) to the issuance of a complaint charging the market agency with violation of the Act. In the formal administrative proceeding initiated by any such complaint, the Judicial Officer of the Department will determine, after full hearing, whether the market agency has violated the Act and should be ordered to cease and desist from continuing such violation, and whether the registration of such market agency should be suspended for a reasonable period of time.