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Grassley bill would ban packer ownership of livestock

A bill reintroduced in the U.S. Senate last week by Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley seeks to ban packer ownership of livestock.

A news release from his office says the Senator is concerned about the continued impact of consolidation within the livestock industry.

Grassley says over the last several decades large packing companies in the poultry and pork industries have moved to concentrate and vertically integrate, noting the beef industry is showing similar signs of consolidation.

Pork Network Magazine reports online the National Pork Producers Council is opposed to mandates on ownership of livestock.

NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, says “NPPC is opposed to any government mandate that would restrict producers’ ability to sell and packers’ ability to buy livestock.”

Maschhoff also pointed out that at least one existing packing plant and all five of the new plants coming online over the next two years are partially or fully owned by producers, raising concerns about the legislation’s effect on those operations.