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NFU expresses concerns with proposed livestock competition rule

The National Farmers Union (NFU) says USDA’s recently released livestock competition rule is unlikely to provide needed protections to farmers.

The proposed rule aims to more clearly define when a poultry or livestock company has shown “undue or unreasonable preference or advantages” for one farmer over another.  NFU’s Aaron Shier says they’re especially concerned with one of the provisions in the rule.

“”That’s the one that says, basically, if it’s a reasonable business decision that would be customary in the industry—that’s the language that was used in the rule—then it wouldn’t be seen as undue preference or advantage,” he says.

But Shier says that’s not clearly defined.

“Our concern is that just because something has become customary in the industry doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t violate the Packer and Stockyards Act—or that it wouldn’t be an unfair practice in the first place.”

As a result, NFU says, “the rule could strengthen the status quo, leaving farmers with little recourse when confronting unfair but typical treatment”.

AUDIO: Aaron Shier

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