New GIPSA poultry, feed weighing and scaling rules effective September 20

Lawyer updates Poultry Production and Health Seminar attendees on changes in standards

With Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rules issued in 2012 changed substantially by Congress in the Consolidated and Further Appropriations Act of 2013, attendees at the Poultry Production and Health Seminar heard about the changes, including new provisions related to weighing and scaling of feed that take effect September 20.

Clayton Bailey, partner in the Dallas law firm of Bailey Brauer PLLC, kicked off the Poultry Production and Health Seminar with an update on legal issues facing live production. In addition to telling attendees about the weighing and scaling final rules taking effect, Bailey reviewed the top legal cases of the past year and trends in enforcement actions.

Beginning September 20, GIPSA rules require that poultry be transported promptly after loading and weighed within 30 minutes after arrival at the processing plant. The rule also prohibits splitting loads in the weighing process.

Other weighing and scaling provisions taking effect include the requirement that feed picked up from farms must be weighed. Another change is that feed and poultry must be reweighed upon USDA request. Previously, only poultry reweighing was included in the rules.

Bailey told poultry integrators that they might well expect to see the appearance of USDA personnel at feed mill scales, something that has not occurred in the past.

Chief among the rule changes to the GIPSA regulations is that pullet and breeder flocks are no longer covered. Other changes include the elimination of the requirement that contract growers be given a 90-day notification when there is a suspension in the delivery of birds. Complicating the situation is that suspension of delivery is no longer defined by the regulations. 

“What constitutes failure of delivery? Nobody knows,” Bailey said. However, he recommended that integrators provide growers with reasonable written notification.

“What happens if a grower not ready to receive birds? Create a file to document the situation. Regulation is not ‘out the door’,” he said.

Bailey has successfully defended enforcement actions filed by the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration against the nation’s largest swine and poultry companies.

The Poultry Production and Health Seminar, being held in Memphis, Tenn., is sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.