Packer Ban back on legislative table

Washington, D.C., April 15, 2005: New legislation introduced by United States Senators, Ken Salazar, D-Colorado, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, would ban packer ownership of livestock and ensure market access for large and small cattle producers. The new legislation will prohibit packers from owning, feeding or controlling livestock for more than seven days prior to slaughter. The intention of the legislation is to limit the influence large meatpackers have over market prices. Currently, four meat packers control over 80% of the beef market. The bi-partisan legislation has already garnered several co-sponsors and the support of the National Farmers Union.

The idea of banning packer ownership is not a new one, similar legislation had been proposed as part the 2002 Farm bill but faced severe opposition from the House of Representatives and was abandoned.