23 February 2022, US: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with Matthew Seepe (Seepe) of Collinsville, Ala., on Feb. 14, 2022, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Seepe waived its rights to a hearing and was fined a civil penalty of $875.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed Seepe failed to pay when due for 18 transactions from September 2021 through October 2021.
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 is a violation of the P&S Act.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $29,270 per violation against any person after the notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and enter into a stipulation agreement to quickly resolve alleged violations.
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.