Legislation Would Improve Recovery In Livestock Payment Defaults

March 16, 2020

U.S. Sens. Tina Smith of Minnesota and Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma last week re-introduced the bipartisan Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act, which would create a dealer statutory trust. This would give unpaid sellers of livestock the legal right to reclaim livestock or, if they have been resold, proceeds from livestock in the unfortunate event of a dealer payment default. Under current law, ranchers and livestock auctions often do not have the ability to get the livestock back for which they were not paid and recover little from the dealer’s bond. U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall introduced a companion version of the bill, H.R. 6067, earlier this month in the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.

As part of the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress instructed USDA to examine the feasibility of establishing a livestock dealer statutory trust. The study revealed a trust of this kind would improve the recovery of livestock sellers in a dealer payment default, while also allowing commerce to continue as usual.

Creation of a dealer statutory trust is supported by KLA and NCBA, as well as the Livestock Marketing Association, United States Cattlemen’s Association, American Sheep Industry Association and American Farm Bureau Federation.