The U.S. 2012 agriculture spending bill includes language that will prevent the implementation of new regulations regarding livestock and poultry marketing, drawing support from the National Pork Producers Council and the National Turkey Federation.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration originally proposed a rule that the organization said addressed "the increased use of contracting in the marketing and production of livestock and poultry by entities subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act." The goal of the regulation, according to GIPSA, was "to level the playing field between packers, live poultry dealers and swine contractors, and the nation’s poultry growers and livestock producers."
Industry members, however, said the rule would amount to an unprecedented government invasion into the private marketplace. "The marketplace works well without government intrusion and this legislation is proof that many in Congress feel the same way," said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bill Donald. The 2012 spending bill includes language limiting funding for further action on the proposed rule until Congress takes additional legislative action to amend the Packers and Stockyards Act in the next Farm Bill.
Overall, the government appropriated $17.25 billion in discretionary spending for the agriculture industry — a 13.4% reduction from 2011. Among the numbers:
- GIPSA received $37 million, a $3.26 million decrease from 2011.
- Production, processing and marketing under the office of the secretary received $4.29 million, a $758,000 decrease from 2011.
- The Agricultural Research Service received $993 million, a $140 million decrease from 2011.
- The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service received $790 million, a $73.3 million decrease from 2011.
- The Agricultural Marketing Service received $77.5 million, a $9.04 decrease from 2011.