Animal Agriculture: 2008 Farm Bill Issues

Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress

With a few exceptions (such as milk), the products of animal agriculture are not eligible for the
price and income supports that Congress historically has written into farm bills for major row
crops such as grains, cotton, and oilseeds. However, the meat and poultry industries do look to the
federal government for leadership and support in promoting their exports, resolving trade
disputes, and reassuring markets that their products are safe, of high quality, and disease-free.
Farm bills can contain policy guidance and resources to help achieve these objectives.
Animal producers closely follow the development of farm bills because of their potential impact
on production and marketing costs. For example, policies promoting crop-based alternative fuels
like ethanol already have contributed to higher prices for corn and soybeans, both important
animal feedstuffs. Where additional biofuels policy incentives were being considered for
inclusion in a new farm bill, cattle, hog, and poultry producers urged restraint and/or encouraged
more use of non-feed crops like grasses and field wastes. Other farm bill issues of interest
included proposals from some farmer-rancher coalitions to address perceived anti-competitive
market behavior by large meat and poultry processing companies; and proposed changes in food
safety laws.
A number of animal-related provisions, some potentially quite significant for producers and
agribusinesses, were debated during Congress’s deliberations on a 2007-2008 farm bill. Several
of these proposals advanced to be included in the final version of the farm bill (P.L. 110-246) that
became law in June 2008. It contains a new title on Livestock (Title XI) with provisions affecting
how USDA is to regulate livestock and poultry markets—but lacking much of the extensive
language that had been in the Senate-passed version of the bill. For example, conferees omitted a
Senate provision that would have prohibited large meat packers from owning, feeding, or
controlling livestock except within 14 days of slaughter.
Other livestock title provisions in the final version include permitting some state-inspected meat
and poultry products to enter interstate commerce, just like USDA-inspected products; bringing
catfish under mandatory USDA inspection; and modifying the mandatory country-of-origin
labeling (COOL) law to ease compliance requirements affecting meats and other covered
commodities. In the Miscellaneous title (Title XIV), Congress included amendments aimed at
further protecting primarily companion animals, which are regulated under the Animal Welfare
Act (AWA). Title XV, containing the bill’s revenue and tax provisions, creates a new disaster
assistance trust fund that could provide new assistance to livestock producers affected by weather
In the 111th Congress, lawmakers’ attention likely will be focused on USDA’s implementation of
these farm bill provisions. Whether they might take renewed interest in provisions that did not
pass—for example, the ban on large packer ownership of livestock—was uncertain at the start of

2009. This report will not be updated.

Overvi ew ....................................................................................................................... .................. 1
Economic Backdrop..................................................................................................................2
Importance of Trade..................................................................................................................3
Issues and Options...........................................................................................................................5
Market Competition and Packer Concentration........................................................................5
Backgr ound ......................................................................................................................... 5
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................10
Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting.....................................................................................11
Backgr ound ........................................................................................................................ 11
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................12
Meat and Poultry Safety..........................................................................................................12
Backgr ound ....................................................................................................................... 12
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................13
Country-of-Origin Labeling....................................................................................................14
Backgr ound ....................................................................................................................... 14
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................16
Animal Identification for Health Protection............................................................................16
Backgr ound ....................................................................................................................... 16
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................17
Animal Welfare.......................................................................................................................18
Backgr ound ....................................................................................................................... 18
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................18
Feed Prices..............................................................................................................................19
Backgr ound ....................................................................................................................... 19
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................21
Disaster Assistance..................................................................................................................21
Backgr ound ....................................................................................................................... 21
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................22
Environmental Issues..............................................................................................................22
Backgr ound ....................................................................................................................... 22
Farm Bill Provisions.........................................................................................................22
Figure 1. Selected Meat and Poultry Exports..................................................................................4
Table 1. U.S. Animal Production, 2002...........................................................................................2
Table 2. U.S. Role in Selected Meat and Poultry Trade..................................................................3
Table 3. Selected U.S. Livestock Data............................................................................................5
Table 4. Red Meat Packer Concentration, 1985 and 2005..............................................................6

Appendix. Summary of Selected Livestock Provisions: New Law Compared with House
and Senate 2007 Farm Bills and Current Law............................................................................24
Author Contact Information..........................................................................................................32

Most of the products of animal agriculture are not eligible for the price and income support
programs that Congress has written into farm bills for major crops such as grains, cotton, and 1
oilseeds. Nor have meat and poultry producers generally sought such assistance, except ad hoc 2
aid to recover losses caused by natural disasters such as droughts and hurricanes. They also do
not qualify for federal crop insurance, which covers a portion of the value of production lost to
natural disasters. Some cattle and hog producers in a limited number of states do participate in
livestock revenue insurance programs being administered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency
(RMA), which provides protection from revenue losses whether due to natural causes or
economic conditions.
Animal agriculture does look to the federal government to resolve trade disputes, establish
transparent, science-based rules for importing and exporting animal products, and reassure
domestic and foreign buyers alike that these products are safe, of high quality, and disease-free.
Other longstanding public policy concerns include animal agriculture’s obligations with respect to
environmental protection, food safety, and animal welfare. Omnibus farm legislation can contain
policy guidance and resources related to these objectives.
A number of animal-related provisions, some potentially quite significant for producers and
agribusinesses, were debated during Congress’s deliberations on a 2007-2008 farm bill. Several
of these proposals advanced to be included in the final version of the farm bill (P.L. 110-246) that
became law in June 2008. It contains a new title on Livestock (Title XI) with provisions affecting
how USDA is to regulate livestock and poultry markets—but lacking much of the extensive 3
language that had been in the Senate-passed version of the bill (H.R. 2419). For example,
conferees omitted a Senate provision that would have prohibited the large meat packers from
owning, feeding, or controlling livestock except within 14 days of slaughter.
Other livestock title provisions in the final version include permitting some state-inspected meat
and poultry products to enter interstate commerce, just like USDA-inspected products; bringing
catfish under mandatory USDA inspection; and modifying the mandatory country-of-origin
labeling (COOL) law to ease compliance requirements affecting meats and other covered
commodities. In the Miscellaneous title (Title XIV), Congress included amendments aimed at
further protecting primarily companion animals, which are regulated under the Animal Welfare
Act (AWA). Title XV, containing the bill’s revenue and tax provisions, creates a new disaster
assistance trust fund that could provide new assistance to livestock producers affected by weather
disasters. The Appendix at the end of this report provides a side-by-side comparison of selected

1 Milk, honey, and wool are notable exceptions. See CRS Report RL34696, The 2008 Farm Bill: Major Provisions and
Legislative Action, by Ree Johnson et al..
2 For example, agricultural disaster provisions in the FY2007 Iraq war supplemental (P.L. 110-28) included $1.23
billion in assistance for livestock growers for losses caused by certain natural disasters in 2005, 2006, or early 2007.
See CRS Report RS21212, Agricultural Disaster Assistance, by Ralph M. Chite.
3 The conference agreement on the 2008 farm bill was originally approved by the House and the Senate as H.R. 2419
and vetoed by the President in May 2008. Both chambers overrode the veto, making the bill law (P.L. 110-234).
However, the trade title was inadvertently excluded from the enrolled bill. To remedy the situation, both chambers
repassed the farm bill conference agreement (including the trade title) as H.R. 6124. The President vetoed the measure
in June 2008 and both chambers again overrode the veto, which made H.R. 6124 law as P.L. 110-246, and superseded
P.L. 110-234.

provisions relating to animal agriculture (and to nonfarm animals) as they appeared in the House,
Senate, and final versions of the farm bill.
Table 1. U.S. Animal Production, 2002
Value of U.S. Sales
U.S. Farms by Primary Classification Numbera ($1,000)b
Total farms 2,128,982 200,646,355
Total crop farms 986,625 95,151,954
Total animal farms 1,142,357 105,494,401
Beef cattle ranches and farms 664,431
Cattle feedlots 55,472
Cattle and calves 45,115,184c
Dairy farms 72,537
Milk and products 20,281,166
Hogs and pigs 33,655 12,400,977
Poultry meat and eggs 44,219 23,972,333
Sheep and goats 43,891 541,745
Horses and other equines 174,441 1,328,733
Other animal production 53,711 1,854,262
Source: U.S. Census of Agriculture, 2002. The 2007 Census of Agriculture had not yet been tallied and
reported as of May 2008.
a. Based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
b. Market value of agricultural products sold (and government payments) from all farms regardless of primary
(i.e., NAICS) classification.
c. Represents sales of beef cattle (including from feedlots, farms, and ranches) and of dairy cattle.
Much is at stake economically: the farm value of animal production was more than $105 billion
in 2002, more than half the total value of all U.S. agricultural production (2002 Census of
Agriculture). Approximately 1.1 million of the nation’s more than 2.1 million farms were
classified by the 2002 Census as primarily animal production operations (see Table 1).
Producers face much pressure to become larger, more specialized, and more cost-efficient, in
order to compete in the increasingly global marketplace. Transactions have been moving away
from live cash markets and toward contractual relationships that can provide a guaranteed supply
of live animals atpredetermined prices and consistent qualities. Many of these animals have been
supplied to feeding operations and meat slaughtering/processing plants by Canada (beef cattle,
sows and pigs) and Mexico (beef calves), as the beef, pork, and poultry industries of the three 4
North American countries have become more economically integrated over the past two decades.

4 See William F. Hahn et al., Market Integration of the North American Animal Products Complex (LDP-M-131-01),

These trends are occurring at a time when feed costs have begun to rise significantly for a variety
of reasons, including very strong global demand for grains and oilseeds, higher fuel costs, and the
government’s promotion of ethanol (now primarily corn-based) as an alternative fuel.
The United States is a world leader in the production, consumption, and export of meat and
poultry products. One indicator of the increasing reliance of the animal sector on international
trade is the share of U.S. domestic production that is exported, a figure that has increased
significantly over the past 35 years.
Broiler meat exports have grown from 1.3% of production in 1970 to 14.9% of production in
2006 and nearly 16.2% in 2007. Pork exports climbed from 1.3% to 14.3% over the same period
(see Figure 1). Beef exports also climbed, from 0.2% of domestic production in 1970 to 9.6% in
2003. When world markets closed to U.S. beef after a Canadian-born cow with bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in Washington state late in 2003, exports
dropped precipitously to 1.9% of production in 2004. Two more BSE cases subsequently were
found in U.S.-born cattle under a more intensive surveillance program, but beef exports are again
rebuilding gradually. They reached 5.4% of production in 2007. The United States has long been
a dominant world player, but increasing reliance on exports also has brought new challenges.
Other countries are competing vigorously for the same country markets. Table 2 discusses the
relative position of the United States in world trade of beef and veal, pork, broilers, and turkey.
Many years of effort to build export sales can be reversed abruptly due to an animal disease
outbreak. When other countries restrict U.S. meat or poultry products, whether due to the
discovery of BSE, an outbreak of avian influenza, or some other health problem, it often takes
many additional years for the United States to regain those markets, as has occurred in Japan and
Korea, the first and third most important destinations, respectively, for U.S. beef prior to the
occurrence of BSE here.
Table 2. U.S. Role in Selected Meat and Poultry Trade
United States Rank (2007) The Competition
Beef and No. 1 producer, consumer, and importer; was no. 2 Australia, long the leading exporter,
veal exporter prior to 2003 BSE case, now no. 4. Is a net was surpassed in 2004 by Brazil.
Pork No. 3 producer, consumer; no. 4 importer; no. 1 EU and Canada also in top 3
exporter. Is a net exporter. exporters. Brazil is no. 4.
Broiler No. 1 producer and consumer; no. 2 exporter. Few Brazil overtook U.S. as no. 1 exporter
meat imports. in 2004.
Turkey No. 1 producer, consumer, exporter. Few imports. No. 2 exporter Brazil has gained in
market share.
Source: USDA, FAS, Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade, April 2008.

USDA, Economic Research Service, May 2005.

Figure 1. Selected Meat and Poultry Exports
20Percent of U.S. Production
197 0 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2006
Broiler meat
Source: Various USDA data series. Figure does not reflect 2007 data cited in text.
Sometimes a country may impose sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) standards that affect U.S.
imports and that the United States contends are not based on scientific principles or otherwise
violate international trade rules. Examples include Japan’s and Korea’s years of delays in
reopening their borders to U.S. beef even though the United States follows what it argues are
internationally recognized safeguards. Another example has been the European Union’s (EU’s)
refusal to accept U.S. beef treated with approved growth hormones, despite an international panel
siding with the United States when itdetermined that the EU position was scientifically
indefensible. Most animal agriculture organizations expect U.S. agricultural and trade agency
officials to lead efforts in resolving such problems and in trying to ensure that they do not arise 5

5 For more information see CRS Report RL33472, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Concerns in Agricultural Trade,
by Geoffrey S. Becker.

The past several decades have seen rapid changes in the structure and business methods of animal
agriculture (see Table 3). Production and marketing have been moving toward fewer and larger
operations, although the pace of these changes has varied widely across the sectors.
Table 3. Selected U.S. Livestock Data
1980 2005
Total cattle marketed 23.2 million 25.8 million
Beef cow farms & ranches 1,032,592a 770,170
Pct. with 500 or more head <1% <1%
U.S. beef cow inventory 35.2 million 33.8 million
Pct. on operations with 500 or more head 14% 15%
Cattle feedlots 113,326 88,198
Pct. with 1,000 or more head 2.1% 2.5%
Pct. marketed from operations with 1,000 or more head 70% 86%
U.S. hog/pig inventory 62.3 million 60.7 million
Hog/pig farms 667,000 67,000
Average no. of head per farm 93 906
Source: Various USDA data reports. Data on farm numbers differ from those shown in Table 1 due to use of
differing years and farm classifications.
a. 1978 data.
For example, smaller (i.e., fewer than 100-head) cow-calf operations (where beef cows are bred
and born) represent a majority of such operations and hold nearly half of all U.S. cattle. On the
other hand, larger (i.e., 1,000-head plus capacity) feedlots, which fatten cattle to slaughter weight, 6
represent a small fraction of total U.S. feedlots but market the majority of fed cattle. Cattle
feeding is now concentrated in the middle part of the country, where five states marketed 75% of
all fed cattle: Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Although more widely
dispersed, 75% of all U.S. beef cows also reside in the middle states, stretching, approximately,

6 Animal Production and Marketing Issues: Questions and Answers, USDA, Economic Research Service, at

west to east from Colorado and Utah to Kentucky and Tennessee, and from the Canadian to the 7
Mexican borders.
Live hog production has seen sweeping changes over the past 25 years. The number of U.S. farms
with hogs declined from 667,000 in 1980 to 67,000 in 2005; those remaining have become much
larger and less diversified. Operations with at least 10,000 hogs now represent less than 1% of all
producers but more than half of total U.S. hog output, USDA reports. The average 1980 farm with
hogs had less than 100 head and likely raised them from birth to slaughter weight as part of a
more diversified crop-livestock operation. In 2005, the average hog farm had more than 900 head
and might typically specialize in a single stage of hog production, such as finishing, according to
USDA. In fact, the hog production segment of the industry now has about 30 key firms, plus 8
several hundred additional “significant” operators. Much of the U.S. hog population is in Iowa,
southern Minnesota, and North Carolina.
Cattle and hog producers now sell to fewer packers as well (see Table 4). Recent concentration
numbers approach those of the early 1900s when 50% to 70% of the market was dominated by 9
five firms which slaughtered several different species of livestock.
Table 4. Red Meat Packer Concentration, 1985 and 2005
Percent Slaughtered by Top 4 Firms
1985 2005
Hogs 32% 63%
Steers & Heifers 50% 80%
All Cattle 39% 71%
Source: USDA and Cattle Buyers Weekly.
Ownership or tight control of multiple production and marketing steps by a single firm (known as
vertical integration or vertical coordination, respectively) is more common in the livestock and
poultry sectors today than in the past. A 2001 article described this characteristic as “supply
chains—tightly orchestrated production, processing, and marketing arrangements stretching from
genetics to grocery. Supply chains bypass traditional commodity markets and rely on contractual

7 Cattle-Fax Update, December 15, 2006.
8 Informa Economics, Special Report: The Changing U.S. Pork industry, November 1, 2004, at
9 USDA, ERS, U.S. Beef Industry: Cattle Cycles, Price Spreads, and Packer Concentration. Technical Bulletin No.
1874, April 1999.

arrangements among the chain participants to manage the transformation of livestock on the farm 10
to meat in the cooler.”
This business model was pioneered in agriculture by the poultry industry, which began to
integrate shortly after World War II. Poultry producers were “the clear leader” in delivering
nutritional and convenient products to consumers while at the same time sharply controlling
costs, according to Barkema. The hog industry has been following poultry’s footsteps. Now
typical are contract production arrangements with large integrators who may provide the genetics,
piglets and other inputs, and a contracting producer (farmer) who provides facilities and labor.
For those who raise livestock, all of these changes have meant fewer cash transactions at auction
barns or other open markets, and more frequent, often longer-term business arrangements with
buyers and/or processors. Often these arrangements take the form of agricultural contracts, which
USDA defines as agreements between farmers and their commodity buyers that are reached
before the completion of production. Other alternative marketing arrangements also are used by
producers and processors (see “GIPSA Study” below).
In 2003, contracts (production or marketing) covered 47% of all livestock production value, up
from 33% in 1991-93. This compared with 31% of all crop production in 2003 and 25% in 1991-

93, according to USDA.

A comprehensive study of livestock transaction methods, funded through USDA’s Grain
Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), describes a number of “alternative
marketing arrangements” (AMAs). The study defines AMAs as all alternatives to the cash
market, including forward contracts, marketing agreements, procurement or marketing contracts,
production contracts, packer ownership, custom feeding, and custom slaughter. By contrast, cash
transactions are those that occur immediately or “on the spot.”
The study, conducted by the private contracting firm RTI International, determined that all types
of AMAs accounted for an estimated 38% of fed (slaughter-ready) beef cattle volume, 89% of
finished hog volume, and 44% of lamb volume sold to packers between October 2002 and March
2005, the period studied. Within the beef sector, the 29 largest beef packing plants had obtained
62% of their cattle on the cash or spot market; 29% through marketing agreements; 4.5% through
forward contracts; and 5% through packer ownership or other unknown methods. The use of one
type of AMA—that is, packer ownership of the livestock they intend to slaughter—accounted for

5% or less of all beef and lamb transactions, but 20% to 30% of all pork transactions, the study 11

However, the report observed: “Cash market transactions serve an important purpose in the
industry, particularly for small producers and small packers.” Reported cash prices also are

10 Barkema, Alan, and others, “The New U.S. Meat Industry, Economic Review of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Kansas City, Second Quarter 2001.
11 GIPSA, “Livestock and Meat Marketing Study, accessed May 30, 2008, at
webapp?area=home&subject=lmp&topic=ir-mms. The study was funded by a $4.5 million provision in the
consolidated appropriations measure for FY2003 (P.L. 108-7).

frequently used as the base for formula pricing for cash market and AMA purchases of livestock
and meat, RTI reported.
Critics assert that these types of trends in consolidation and vertical control have enabled a
relative handful of industry players to dominate markets and have undermined the traditional U.S.
system of smaller-scale, independent, family-based farming. Farmers and ranchers now have
weakened negotiating power, lower prices, and no choice but to “get larger or get out” of
agriculture, they add. Others counter that structural changes in animal agriculture, processing, and
marketing are a desirable outgrowth of factors such as technological and managerial
improvements, changing consumer demand for a wider range of low-cost, convenient products,
and expanding international trade.
A number of federal laws and agencies are responsible for ensuring that markets are open and
competitive. For example, the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act) of 1921, as amended (7
U.S.C. §181 et seq.) prohibits meat packers and poultry dealers from a variety of anti-competitive
and antitrust practices such as engaging in any unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive
marketing; or apportioning supplies or manipulating prices to create a monopoly. GIPSA
administers the P&S Act. The Agricultural Fair Practices Act (AFPA; 7 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.)
was enacted in 1967 to protect farmers from retaliation by handlers (buyers of their products)
because the farmers are members of a cooperative. The act, administered by USDA’s Agricultural
Marketing Service (AMS), permits farmers, if they believe their rights under the law have been
violated, to file complaints with USDA, which can then institute court proceedings.
The Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §§1-8) and Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. §12 et seq.), which cover but
are not specific to agriculture, prohibit certain activities such as mergers and acquisitions that
may restrict market access or suppress competition. The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal
Trade Commission are primarily responsible for administration of these laws. The Capper-
Volstead Act (7 U.S.C. §§291-292) confers limited exemption for antitrust liability to farmer
Producers facing fewer buyers for their livestock frequently express concerns about “captive
supply,” a reference to animals that are either owned by, or committed to, a meat packer prior to
the period just before slaughter. When packers buy fewer animals on the spot (open cash) market,
reported prices may no longer accurately reflect the preponderance of prices paid, it is argued. A
reduction in transparency (i.e., prices and terms that all market players can view equally) works to
the disadvantage of the far larger number of producers trying to sell their livestock to the
relatively few packers who buy them, it is argued. Some have long argued that to resolve these
concerns, a ban should be imposed against packers owning or controlling any livestock until they th
are ready for slaughter. Legislation to ban packer ownership was considered in the 110
Opponents of restrictions on packer ownership or control of animals counter that evidence of
price manipulation is lacking, that a ban could reverse many of the efficiency gains made by the
livestock industry in recent years through closer packer-producer alliances, and that it would limit

producers’ marketing options. They also cite the results of the RTI study of marketing practices
(see above).
Some interest groups have been advocating for stronger enforcement authorities, in part because
they believe that GIPSA officials have largely failed to enforce existing laws. They point to a
recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), which concluded that
GIPSA has not adequately overseen and managed its investigative activities. GIPSA had
difficulties defining and tracking investigations, planning and conducting complex investigations,
and making agency policy, OIG found. USDA’s general counsel had not filed an administrative
complaint on anti-competitive practices since 1999, due to GIPSA’s failure to refer cases, 12
although agency staff were considering dozens of investigations at the time, OIG concluded.
Among the legislative proposals that were offered to address these concerns: creation of a new
USDA Counsel to investigate and prosecute violations of the AFPA and of the P&S Act;
establishment of an Agriculture Competition Task Force to examine agricultural competition
matters; changes to law intended to make it easier for producers to prove in a court of law that
they were treated unfairly by packers; and authorization of additional funding for Department of
Justice and USDA investigations of anticompetitive behavior, among others.
In the 110th Congress, several bills also were introduced that would amend the AFPA to address
what sponsors view as inequities in contracting between agricultural producers and those who
buy their commodities. Proposed amendments to the AFPA are intended to address concerns
about agricultural consolidation, and the perception that this consolidation has left producers with
so few processor-buyers that some of these processor-buyers can and do impose unfavorable
contract terms on the producers, forcing them to either accept them or go out of business.
In the courts, small farm advocates have brought several closely watched lawsuits, under the P&S
Act and several other laws, challenging the contracting and marketing practices of larger packers
and/or integrators. These efforts generally have not been successful, which added impetus to calls
for including a so-called competition title in a new omnibus farm bill. Advocates called on
lawmakers to strengthen existing antitrust authorities, to impose more mandates on the executive
branch to enforce these authorities, and to provide new contract protections for farmers, among
other options.
Opponents of the various AFPA and P&S Act proposals have asserted that buyers use these and
other contracting arrangements to ensure a steady supply of animals (as well as other agricultural
commodities) to keep high-capacity plants operating efficiently; such arrangements also allow for
necessary price adjustments for quality, grade, or other market-prescribed factors. The proposals
for change would hurt producers too, because many of them use contracts or other marketing
agreements with packers to limit their own exposure to price volatility and to obtain capital,
opponents added, again citing the result of the recent RTI study.

12 Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administrations Management and Oversight of the Packers and
Stockyards Programs, OIG Audit Rept. No. 30601-01-Hy, January 2006.

The final farm bill contains a new title on Livestock (Title XI) that scales back much of the
language in the Senate-passed version aimed at more closely regulating livestock and poultry
markets. For example, conferees deleted Senate language that would have prohibited most major
packers from owning, feeding, or controlling livestock except within 14 days of slaughter. Also
deleted was a Senate provision to establish at USDA a new Special Counsel for Agricultural
Competition to investigate and prosecute violations of competition laws.
Title XI of the final conference bill changes the AFPA to alter the definitions of associations and
handlers, but Senate provisions intended to strengthen USDA’s oversight and enforcement of the
act were deleted, as were Senate provisions to give USDA stronger enforcement authorities over
live poultry dealers under the P&SA, among other P&SA changes. In their place, conferees added
language requiring an annual report detailing investigations into possible violations of the P&SA.
Also narrowed was Senate language governing contractual arrangements between producers and
integrators. Under the conference compromise, a poultry or swine grower—a more limited
definition of a contract producer than in the original Senate bill—has the right to cancel a contract
within three business days of execution, unless a later date is specified in the contract. In lieu of
Senate language limiting the conditions under which a contractor could require a producer to
make additional capital investments, the conference language stipulates that the possibility of
such an investment be conspicuously stated in the contract.
Several other provisions retained, in somewhat modified form, in the conference bill are intended
to give producers additional protections when disputing contract terms. These provisions include
a requirement that USDA issue rules on the reasonable period of time a producer should be given
to remedy a breach of contract before it is cancelled; and make the venue for any litigation “the
Federal judicial district in which the principal part of the performance takes place under the
arrangement or contract.”
At the start of the 110th Congress, Senator Harkin had introduced a wide-ranging bill (S. 622)
that, he said, would be “the basis for developing a proposed competition title in the new farm bill 13
this year.” S. 622 included many of the provisions not retained in the final version. Also
introduced and considered during the farm bill debate were bills by Senator Grassley that would
have prohibited meat packers from owning or feeding livestock, with some noted exceptions (S.
305); and that would have established a USDA Special Counsel for Competition Matters, a
Deputy Attorney General for Agricultural Antitrust Matters in the Department of Justice, and an
Agriculture Competition Task Force to examine agricultural competition matters, among other
funding and programmatic changes (S. 1759). Several provisions from these bills were in the
Senate-passed farm bill.
The packer ban would only have applied to packers who were already required to report their
prices through the mandatory price reporting law, or packers who slaughter over 120,000 head of
cattle each year. The ban would not have applied to ownership arrangements entered into within
14 days of slaughter of the livestock by a packer, or to any cooperative or entity owned by a
cooperative. The provision would have allowed for certain transition rules for packers who
already own, feed, or control livestock intended for slaughter on the date of enactment of this act.

13 Senator Harkin’s statement on S. 622 is in the February 15, 2007, Congressional Record, pp. S2052-S2053.

In the House, Representative Boswell, chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on
Dairy, Livestock, and Poultry, had introduced the House version of S. 622 as H.R. 2135.
However, with the exception of a provision on arbitration clauses in livestock and poultry
contracts, other elements of H.R. 2135 were not included in the draft bill forwarded to the full 14
committee. The Boswell arbitration provision was further altered during committee markup.
The arbitration provision in the House-passed bill directed USDA to establish regulatory
standards for arbitration provisions in livestock and poultry contracts. Among other things, such
regulations are intended to permit a producer to seek relief in a small claims court, if within the
court’s jurisdiction, regardless of a contract’s arbitration clause. The House-passed bill contained
no other major “competition” language.
Under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627), AMS has long collected
livestock and meat price and related market information (along with data on commodities such as
grains, dairy, and produce). Under the voluntary program, this information has been disseminated
by AMS through hundreds of daily, weekly, monthly, and annual written and electronic reports.
The goal has been to provide all buyers and sellers with accurate and objective market
In 1999, Congress passed the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting (LMPR) Act as Title IX of
USDA’s FY2000 appropriations act (P.L. 106-78). Its aim was to address some livestock
producers’ concerns that this voluntary system was no longer working, at a time when animals
were more frequently being sold under private marketing arrangements, with prices not publicly
disclosed or reported. These producers had asserted that such arrangements made it difficult or
impossible for them to determine “fair” market prices. Other producers, and many firms who
bought their animals, at first had opposed a mandatory law, arguing that it would impose costly
new reporting burdens on the industry and could cause the release of confidential company
information, among other concerns. Nonetheless, they eventually accepted a new “consensus”
law and generally supported its continuation.
LMPR contains a variety of reporting requirements. For example, detailed market information
must be reported to AMS by packers, processors and importers who annually slaughter an
average of at least 125,000 cattle, 100,000 hogs, or 75,000 lambs, and by importers with average
annual imports of at least 2,500 metric tons of lamb meat (Reportedly a total of more than 100
packers or importers are covered.) There are penalties for not reporting. The program has
received some 500,000 pieces of data each day; USDA in turn has made the data public through
more than 100 daily, weekly, or monthly reports. The program has captured information from 85-
90% of the boxed beef market, 75% of the lamb meat market, 75-80% of the steer and heifer
cattle market, 60% of the lamb market, and 95% of the hog market, USDA officials testified in


14 Another related proposal that was not adopted in the House farm bill was H.R. 2213, introduced by Representative
Herseth Sandlin, which would amend the P&S Act with respect to livestock producer-packer forward contracts.

The original authority had lapsed several times—but the “mandatory” program continued on a
“voluntary” basis”—until the Senate, in September 2006, agreed to a House-passed version (H.R.
3408) extending LMPR with relatively minor changes through September 30, 2010. This measure
was signed into law (P.L. 109-296) on October 5, 2006. Some Senators had wanted a shorter 15
extension in order to consider more substantive amendments to the law.
The new farm bill requires a USDA study of the economic impacts of pork product sales,
focusing on wholesale pork cuts, and contains a directive that USDA improve electronic reporting
and publishing under the program. The Senate version of the farm bill would have established a
new program for mandatory daily product information reporting for manufactured dairy products,
and amended the current program for swine to authorize, after an economic study, the mandatory
packer reporting of wholesale pork product sales (such as pork cuts and retail-ready pork
products), along with making changes to the reporting times of the afternoon swine report. The
House bill did not include any changes or additions to the current program.
Omnibus farm bills—including the one currently before the 110th Congress—periodically address
food safety concerns. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for
inspecting most meat and poultry for safety, wholesomeness, and proper labeling, under,
respectively, the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA; 21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), and the Poultry
Products Inspection Act (PPIA; 21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.). Federal inspectors or their state
counterparts are present at all times in virtually all slaughter plants and for at least part of each
day in establishments that further process meat and poultry products. The Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is
responsible for ensuring the safety of virtually all other human foods, including seafood, and for
animal drugs and feed ingredients, primarily under authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and
Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.)
A controversial farm bill issue was whether Congress should alter a longstanding ban on the
interstate shipment of meat and poultry products that have been inspected by state rather than
federal authorities. For many years, state agency officials and smaller meat plants pressed
Congress to overturn this federal ban. Twenty-seven states conduct their own inspection of more
than 2,000 meat and/or poultry establishments under a parallel safety system to that of the federal
government. Meanwhile, many other federally inspected plants in these same states have been
permitted to ship across state lines. Proponents of ending the ban argued that the FMIA and PPIA
already required state inspection programs to be “at least equal” to the federal system, and that
they have been. While state-inspected plants could not ship interstate, foreign plants operating
under USDA-approved foreign programs, which are to be “equivalent” to the U.S. program, have
been permitted to export meat and poultry products to, and sell them anywhere in, the United
States. Advocates for change contended that they should not be treated less fairly than the foreign

15 Voluntary reporting continued until USDA-AMS could promulgate new implementing rules. These were published
May 16, 2008 (73 Federal Register 28605-28662).

plants; they further contended that foreign programs were not as closely scrutinized as state
Those who opposed allowing state-inspected products in interstate commerce argued that state
programs were not required to have, and did not have, the same level of safety oversight as the
federal, or even the foreign, plants. For example, foreign meat and poultry products are subject to
U.S. import reinspection at ports of entry, and again, when most imported meat is further
processed in U.S.-inspected processing plants. Opponents also contended that neither the USDA
Inspector General (in a 2006 report) nor a relevant 2002 federal appeals court ruling would agree,
without qualification, that state-inspected meat and poultry were necessarily as safe as federally 16
inspected products.
A number of other food safety issues arose during the past year’s debate on the farm bill. For
example, should companies be required to quickly notify the agencies about potentially
adulterated products in the market? Should the food safety agencies be given clearer authorities to
recall potentially adulterated products from the marketplace? What about the safety of meat and
milk from cloned animals and their offspring? More broadly, should Congress consider a
wholesale overhaul of the U.S. food safety system and an update of its underlying legislative
Provisions in the farm bill address some of these questions.17 Among the more prominent
provisions is language to permit interstate shipment of state-inspected products under certain
conditions, generally modeled after the language in the Senate-passed farm bill. A new program
would supplement the current federal-state cooperative inspection program with a provision
whereby state-inspected plants with 25 or fewer employees could opt into a new program that
subjects them to federally directed but state-operated inspection, thus allowing them to ship
interstate. More specifically, the plants would still be inspected by state employees, but these
employees would be under the supervision of a federal employee who will oversee training,
inspection, compliance, and other activities. States would receive at least 60% reimbursement of
their costs (compared with 50% under the existing federal-state program, which could also
continue). The Senate language is a compromise package acceptable to both opponents and
supporters of House farm bill language, which among other things could have enabled many
plants currently under federal inspection to apply for state inspection and continue to ship
interstate. Opponents of the House option feared that many would seek to leave the federal
system if they believed that could receive more lenient oversight by the states.
The state inspection provisions of the House-passed farm bill essentially had been adapted from
language found in companion bills H.R. 2315/S. 1150, introduced earlier in 2007 by, respectively,
Representative Pomeroy and Senator Hatch. Other bills (H.R. 1760/S. 1149) to strike the
interstate bans in the FMIA and PPIA were introduced in 2007 by Representative Kind and
Senator Kohl.

16 For a more detailed discussion see CRS Report RL34202, State-Inspected Meat and Poultry: Issues for Congress, by
Geoffrey S. Becker.
17 A brief summary of these provisions can be found in CRS Report RS22886, Food Safety Provisions of the 2008
Farm Bill, by Geoffrey S. Becker.

Conferees also acted on these other Senate-passed provisions on food safety that were not in the
House bill:
• Reportable Meat and Poultry Registries. In the Senate but not House bill was a
requirement that USDA establish “reportable food registries” for meat and
poultry and their products, whereby establishments would have to report
whenever there were a probability of such foods causing adverse health
consequences. (The FDA amendments legislation passed in 2007, P.L. 110-85,
establishes a similar registry for FDA-regulated foods.) The conference substitute
amends the meat and poultry laws to require an establishment to notify USDA if
it has reason to believe that an adulterated or misbranded product has entered
commerce. Another conference provision requires meat and poultry
establishments to prepare and maintain written recall plans.
• Catfish Grading and Inspection. Conferees modified Senate bill language to
provide for new USDA initiatives affecting domestic catfish: a voluntary grading
program administered through AMS, and mandatory safety inspection of such
products by FSIS (i.e., making catfish an amenable species like other major meat
and poultry species). The final version provides for catfish grading as a voluntary
fee-based program, with producers of other seafood species eligible to petition
USDA for a similar service. In a major change, conferees also agreed to extend
mandatory inspection to catfish processors, further authorizing FSIS to take into
account the conditions under which catfish are raised and processed. Although
other fish and shellfish are not covered by the final amendment, conferees noted
in their accompanying report that the Secretary of Agriculture has standing
authority to add species if appropriate. The conference report also states the
intent of Congress “that catfish be subject to continuous inspection and that
imported catfish inspection programs be found to be equivalent under USDA
regulations before foreign catfish may be imported into the United States.”
• Food Safety Commission. Conferees deleted a provision in the Senate bill to
establish a Congressional Bipartisan Food Safety Commission that would have
been required to report, within one year, on recommendations for modernizing
food programs. The Senate bill also would have required the President to review
the report and send Congress proposed legislation to implement its
recomme ndations.
• Food from Cloned Animals. FDA had asked companies to refrain voluntarily
from marketing meat and milk from cloned animals or their progeny until it
could complete a final assessment of their safety. Conferees deleted a provision
in the Senate bill that would have prohibited FDA from issuing a final risk
assessment or from lifting the voluntary moratorium until completion of newly
mandated studies on the safety and market impacts of introducing products from
cloned animals.
Under §304 of the Tariff Act of 1930 as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), every imported item must be
conspicuously and indelibly marked in English to indicate to the “ultimate purchaser” its country

of origin. Some types of products have long been exempted from this requirement, including raw
agricultural products such as live animals, meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables, for example—
although their outer containers must contain such labeling.
Title X of the 2002 farm bill was to change this, by requiring retailers to provide country-of-18
origin labeling for fresh beef, pork, and lamb (Section 10816 of Subtitle I). First adopted on the
Senate floor in late 2001, mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat was to be in
place on September 30, 2004, but language in the FY2004 consolidated appropriations act (P.L.

108-199) delayed implementation for meats, produce and peanuts, but not seafood, for two years, th

until September 30, 2006. Debate over COOL carried into the 109 Congress, which (in USDA’s
FY2006 appropriation, P.L. 109-97) postponed implementation for an additional two years, until th
September 30, 2008. This contentious program was again on the farm bill agenda of the 110 19
The implementation delays had reflected the continuing divergence of opinion among lawmakers
over whether a federally mandated labeling program was needed. Some contended that
mandatory COOL would provide U.S. products with a competitive advantage over foreign
products because U.S. consumers, if offered a clear choice, prefer fresh foods of domestic origin,
thereby strengthening demand and prices for them. Moreover, proponents—including producer
groups like the National Farmers Union and R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal
Fund, United Stockgrowers of America), and consumer advocacy organizations—argued that U.S.
consumers have a right to know the origin of their food, particularly at a time when U.S. food
imports are increasing, and whenever particular health and safety problems arise. They cited, as
one prominent example, concerns about the safety of some foreign beef arising from the
discoveries of BSE in a number of Canadian-born cows (and two U.S. cows) since 2003.
Supporters of the COOL law argued that it was unfair to exempt meats and produce from the
longstanding country labeling already required of almost all other imported consumer products,
from automobiles to most other foods. They also noted that many foreign countries already
imposed their own country-of-origin labeling.
Opponents of mandatory COOL—which included the American Meat Institute representing many
in the packing industry, the Food Marketing Institute representing many retail stores, and
producer groups like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Pork Producers
Council—countered that studies do not provide evidence that consumers want such labeling.
They asserted that COOL is a thinly disguised trade barrier intended to increase importers’ costs
and to foster the unfounded perception that imports may be inherently less safe (or of lower
quality) than U.S. products. Some argued that food safety problems could as likely originate in
domestic supplies as in imports, as evidenced by the many dozens of recalls of U.S. meat and
poultry products announced by USDA in 2006 and 2007 alone. Opponents pointed out that all
food imports already must meet equivalent U.S. safety standards, enforced by U.S. officials at the
border and overseas; scientific principles, not geography, must be the arbiter of safety. Industry
implementation and recordkeeping costs, earlier estimated by USDA to be as high as $3.9 billion
in the first year and $458 million per year after that, would far outweigh any economic benefits,
critics added, noting that the 2002 law did not cover red meats that are processed or sold in

18 The 2002 COOL provision also covered seafood, fruits and vegetables, and peanuts.
19 AMS, which is responsible for implementing the program, maintains an extensive website on COOL (at, with links to voluntary COOL guidelines, the seafood rule, the proposed mandatory
rule for the other covered commodities, and a cost-benefit analysis.

restaurants, or any type of poultry, a competing product.20 (COOL proponents asserted that USDA
exaggerated the implementation costs.)
The final farm bill generally contains compromise language that was in both the Senate- and
House-passed versions aimed at resolving some of the longstanding differences between COOL
supporters and opponents. The final law continues to direct that COOL be implemented on its
current schedule—starting October 1, 2008. It also extends COOL to goat meat and to chicken
(which competes with red meats in the market and which, unlike red meats, primarily is
domestically produced), along with ginseng, pecans, and macadamia nuts.
Furthermore, the 2008 farm law creates several new types of label categories intended to facilitate
and simplify compliance for the meat and poultry industries and for others. For example, COOL
continues to limit use of the U.S.A. country of origin for covered meats only to items from
animals that were exclusively born, raised, or slaughtered in the United States, with a narrow
exception for those animals present here before July 15, 2008. For multiple countries of origin,
retailers may designate such meat products as being from all of the countries in which the animals
may have been born, raised, or slaughtered. For meat from animals imported for immediate
slaughter, the retailer must cite both the exporting country and the United States. Products from
animals not born, raised, or slaughtered in the United States must designate the country of origin.
Ground meat products shall include a list of all countries of origin, or all “reasonably possible”
countries of origin. Other key provisions are to ease industry record-keeping requirements for
audit verification purposes and to lower the penalties for failure to comply with COOL, but
extend their application to suppliers as well as retailers. For example, USDA could not require
persons to maintain COOL records that are in addition to records kept during the normal course 21
of business.
Whether animal producers themselves would have to keep detailed records on their animals’
identity and whereabouts had long been a controversial aspect of the COOL debate. A number of
producers continue to believe that extending such requirements to the farm level is intrusive,
costly, and unnecessary for COOL. At the same time, a growing number of producers seems to
agree that some type of universal animal identification (ID) program would be a beneficial tool in
addressing animal disease problems.
Outbreaks of animal diseases like avian influenza (AI), foot and mouth disease (FMD),
brucellosis, and tuberculosis are seen as perhaps the greatest potential threats to animal
production. Even where U.S. cases have been few (as with BSE) or quickly contained (as with
various strains of AI), the impacts can be devastating economically, causing production losses, the

20 USDA’s cost estimates are from 68 Federal Register 61955-61974.
21 For more recent developments, including the status of implementation, see CRS Report RS22955, Country-of-Origin
Labeling for Foods, by Geoffrey S. Becker.

closure of export markets, and a decline in consumer confidence. Some like AI and BSE have the
potential to harm humans.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has lead responsibility on matters
of animal health, including animal ID. APHIS has been working on such a program, indicating
that it has the legislative authority to implement an animal ID program under the comprehensive
Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA), which was adopted as Subtitle E of Title X of the 2002
farm bill. This subtitle updated and consolidated a number of longstanding statutes that had been 22
used to monitor, control, and eradicate animal diseases.
Despite several years of effort on the part of USDA, as well as industry groups, and states—and
public funding totaling an anticipated $128 million through FY2008—a universal U.S. system is
not expected to be in place for some time, as policymakers attempt to resolve numerous questions
about its design and purpose. Should animal ID be mandated? What types of information should
be collected, on what animal species, and who should hold it, government or private entities? To
what extent should producer records be shielded from the public and other government agencies?
Should animal ID be expanded to traceability of meat and poultry products from farm to the
consumer, or used for other purposes such as food safety or certification of labeling claims? How
much will it cost, and who should pay? In response, USDA currently envisions a voluntary
universal system for all of the major farm and ranch species of live animals, involving a 23
cooperative effort between federal, state, tribal, producer and breed organizations.
Conferees omitted from the final measure a provision in the Senate bill that would have required
USDA to issue regulations addressing “the protection of trade secrets and other proprietary and/or
confidential business information that farmers and ranchers disclose in the course of
participation” in an ID system.
Other bills to establish differing animal health-oriented ID systems, or to require more extensive th
systems tracing products through the marketing chain, also have not advanced in the 110
Congress. H.R. 1018 would prohibit USDA from carrying out a mandatory animal ID program
and also would seek to protect the privacy of producer information under a voluntary system.
H.R. 2301 would establish an animal ID system administered by a board of livestock, poultry, and
meat industry representatives. S. 1292 would require USDA to implement a more extensive ID
and traceability system “for all stages of production, processing, and distribution of meat and
meat food products” that are covered by federal meat and poultry inspection laws. H.R. 3485
similarly would require a comprehensive meat and poultry traceability system. Meanwhile,
lawmakers have sought to provide guidance and direction on the program through instructions in
USDA’s annual appropriations and in accompanying report language.

22 See also CRS Report RS22653, Animal Identification: Overview and Issues, by Geoffrey S. Becker.
23 See USDA’s website on animal ID at

Farm animals are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA; 9 U.S.C. §2131 et seq.), which
requires minimum care standards for most types of warm-blooded animals bred for commercial
sale, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public. The Animal Care
Division of APHIS has primary responsibility for enforcing the AWA and several other animal
welfare statutes, including the Horse Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §1821 et seq.)
Farm animals are subject to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (7 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.),
enforced by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The act governs the humane
slaughter and handling of livestock (but not poultry) at packing plants. Also, under the so-called
Twenty-Eight Hour Law (49 U.S.C. 80502, last amended in 1994), commercial carriers may not
confine animals in a vehicle or vessel for more than 28 consecutive hours without unloading the
animals for feeding, water, and rest.
Generally, many members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have expressed a
preference for voluntary approaches to humane methods of farm animal care. They state that
major food industry players have been developing humane animal care guidelines, and imposing
them on their suppliers, in response to a growing number of customers who ask about animal
treatment. They cite such changes at McDonald’s and Burger King, for example. In January 2007,
Smithfield, the nation’s largest pork producer, announced that its Murphy-Brown subsidiary
would phase out over a 10-year period the use of individual gestation stalls for sows, replacing 24
them with group housing.
Animal activists have continued to challenge current production practices. They periodically seek
new legislation that would further regulate on-farm or other animal activities, such as bills to 25
prohibit the slaughter of horses for human food (currently pending H.R. 503, S. 311); to require
the federal government to purchase products derived from animals only if they were raised
according to specified care standards (H.R. 1726); and to prohibit the slaughter for food of
disabled livestock (e.g., S. 394 H.R. 661, and H.R. 2678).
Agricultural interests recognize that animal welfare advocacy organizations, like the Humane
Society of the United States and others, have large constituencies in many Members’ districts, and
these organizations have claimed some successes in recent years in winning animal care
initiatives in several states and in several lawsuits. However, farm bill animal welfare provisions
generally have been limited to AWA amendments, affecting non-farm animals.
The 2008 farm law is no exception. It amends the AWA to strengthen prohibitions on dog and
other animal fighting activities; defines a dog fighting venture, and increases the maximum
imprisonment from three to five years. It also requires HHS and USDA to promulgate regulations

24 Smithfield discusses its animal welfare policies at
25 Court actions by advocates already have forced the closure of the two foreign-owned plants in Texas, and a new state
law closed the remaining one in Illinois.

prohibiting the importation for resale of dogs unless they are at least six months of age, in good
health, and have all necessary vaccinations (there are exemptions for research, veterinary
treatment, and certain dogs imported into Hawaii). These provisions generally were in the Senate
but not House bill. The final bill also increases maximum fines for AWA violations from $2,500
to $10,000 per violation, and directs USDA to review “any independent reviews by a nationally
recognized panel of experts” on the use of certain sources researchers use to obtain dogs and cats
and to report on any recommendations as they apply to USDA. Conferees omitted a provision that
was in the House but not the Senate bill to prohibit use of live animals for marketing medical 26

Feed is the single largest cost for cattle feeders and dairy, hog, and poultry producers, who are
wary of government policies that can raise feed prices. These include crop supply control
programs to bolster farm prices (rarely used now) and conservation programs like the
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which pays landowners to retire environmentally sensitive
cropland for long periods.
Strong energy prices and a variety of government incentives had fostered rapid expansion of the
U.S. ethanol industry, with national production increasing from 1.8 billion gallons in 2001 to 6.5
billion gallons in 2007. Corn accounts for about 98% of the feedstocks currently used in ethanol
production in the United States. USDA estimated in May 2008 that more than 2.1 billion bushels
of corn (or 20% of the 2006 corn crop) were used to produce ethanol during the September 2006
to August 2007 corn marketing year. This percentage was expected to rise to 23% in the then-28
current marketing year and again to 33% in the next year.
Corn has traditionally represented about 57% of feed concentrates and processed feedstuffs fed to 29
animals in the United States. As corn-based ethanol production increases, so do total corn
demand and corn prices. Dedicating an increasing share of the U.S. corn harvest to ethanol
production could lead to higher prices for all grains and oilseeds that compete for the same land,
resulting in higher feed costs for cattle, hog, and poultry producers. In February 2008, USDA
projected U.S. livestock feed costs for 2008 at a record $45 billion, up nearly $7 billion or over
18% from the previous year’s record. Meanwhile, USDA projected that wholesale prices for
nearly all livestock product categories (with the exception of poultry and eggs) would decline in

26 For additional information see CRS Report RS22493, The Animal Welfare Act: Background and Selected
Legislation, by Geoffrey S. Becker.
27 Portions of this section are taken from CRS Report RL34474, High Agricultural Commodity Prices: What Are the
Issues?, by Randy Schnepf, where more information, including sources for data, may be obtained. Also see CRS
Report RS22908, Livestock Feed Costs: Concerns and Options, by Geoffrey S. Becker, and CRS Report RL33928,
Ethanol and Biofuels: Agriculture, Infrastructure, and Market Constraints Related to Expanded Production, by Brent
D. Yacobucci and Randy Schnepf.
28 USDA, World Agricultural Outlook Board, where monthly supply and demand reports are available at
29 USDA, ERS, Feed Situation and Outlook Yearbook, FDS-2003, April 2003.

2008. Rising feed costs (primarily grains and protein meals) cut into profit margins of all 30

livestock sectors (beef, dairy, pork, and poultry).
With regard to federal incentives, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA; P.L.

110-140) extended and substantially expanded the existing Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS).

Under EISA, the RFS mandates the use of at least 9 billion gallons of biofuel in U.S. fuel supplies
in 2009, but grows quickly to 20.5 billion gallons by 2015 and to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The
U.S. biofuels sector is also supported by a tax credit of 51 cents for every gallon of ethanol
blended in the U.S. fuel supply ($1.00 per gallon of virgin-oil-based biodiesel), and an import
tariff of 54 cents per gallon of imported ethanol. In addition, several federally subsidized grant
and loan programs assist biofuels research and infrastructure development.
Supply distortions could develop in protein-meal markets related to expanding production of the
ethanol processing by-product distiller’s dried grains (DDG), which averages about 30% protein
content and can substitute in certain feed and meal markets. While DDG use would substitute for
some of the lost feed value of corn used in ethanol processing, about 66% of the original weight
of corn is consumed in producing ethanol and is no longer available for feed. Further, not all
livestock species are well adapted to dramatically increased consumption of DDG in their
rations—dairy cattle appear to be best suited to expanding DDG’s share in feed rations; poultry
and pork are much less able to adapt. DDG must be dried before it can be transported long
distances, adding to feed costs. There may be some potential for large-scale livestock producers
to relocate near new feed sources, but such relocations would likely have important regional
economic effects.
A Tufts University study has offered another perspective on feed prices, noting: “Any discussion
of today’s high prices should take into account the extent to which these same firms [i.e., leading
U.S. meat companies] have benefitted from many years of feed that was priced well below what it
cost to produce. In the nine years that followed the passage of the 1996 Farm Bill [including the
first several years of the 2002 farm bill] (1997-2005), corn was priced 23% below average
production costs, while soybean prices were 15% below farmers’ costs,” the authors of the study
concluded. This resulted in substantial savings to the poultry and hog industries, and an implicit
subsidy over the nine years of $11.5 billion to the broiler industry and $8.5 billion to what the
authors termed “industrial” hog operations. Thus, “the leading firms gained a great deal during
those years from U.S. agricultural policies that helped lower the prices for many agricultural 31

30 According to the World Bank (among other international institutions), increased biofuel production has been one of
the principal causes of the dramatic rise in food pricesalmost all of the increase in global corn production from 2004
to 2007 (the period when grain prices rose sharply) went for biofuels production in the United States. Bush
Administration officials have disputed this assertion, arguing that only 3% of the more than 40% rise in world food
prices in 2008 has been due to increased demand on corn for ethanol. See “USDA Officials Briefing with Reporters on
the Case for Food and Fuel USDA,” May 18, 2008, accessed on USDA’s home page at
31 Timothy A. Wise and Elanor Starmer, Industrial Livestock Companies Gains from Low Feed Prices, 1997-2005,
Tufts University, Global Development and Environmental Institute, February 26, 2007, at
Bracketed text was added by CRS for clarification.

Tax and tariff policies affecting ethanol and related incentives are outside the jurisdiction of the
agriculture committees. However, the committees did include, in their farm bills, incentives for
the development of other types of renewable fuels besides corn-based ethanol, such as cellulosic
ethanol production, and they expanded research and conservation-related policy options. Separate
provisions drafted by the congressional tax-writing committees and included under Title XV of
the new farm bill contain a reduction in the ethanol blender’s tax credit of 51 cents per gallon. It
is to be 45 cents per gallon for calendar 2009 and thereafter, although the credit reduction would
be delayed if USDA and EPA determined that annual ethanol production and/or imports did not
reach 7.5 billion gallons (including cellulosic ethanol). On the other hand, the 54-cent per gallon
import tariff on ethanol was extended for two more years, through calendar 2010.
For more detailed information on energy- and conservation-related provisions adopted in the
House and Senate farm bills, see CRS Report CRS Report RL34696, The 2008 Farm Bill: Major
Provisions and Legislative Action, by Renée Johnson et al. and CRS Report RL34130, Renewable
Energy Policy in the 2008 Farm Bill, by Tom Capehart, among other CRS farm bill reports.
The federal government has relied primarily on two ongoing policy tools in recent years to help
mitigate the financial losses experienced by crop farmers as a result of natural disasters—a
federal crop insurance program and emergency disaster loans. Generally, livestock losses are
eligible for federal loans, but have not been eligible for federal crop insurance, except under
several pilot programs offered in certain geographic areas by USDA’s Risk Management Agency
(RMA). For example, RMA enables some producers to purchase income insurance protection 32
against losses of pasture, rangeland, and forage. Separately, Congress has provided
supplemental assistance on an ad hoc basis for crop and livestock losses due to drought or other 33
natural disasters through various emergency supplemental assistance programs.
The federal crop insurance program is permanently authorized and hence does not require
periodic reauthorization in an omnibus farm bill. However, modifications to the crop insurance
program were discussed in the context of the omnibus 2007-2008 farm bill. Some policymakers
expressed strong interest in expanding the crop insurance program and/or complementing it with
a permanent disaster payment program. Others viewed the crop insurance program as a potential
target for cost reductions, with savings used to fund new initiatives in various titles of the farm

32 See USDA, RMA, “Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Pilot Insurance Programsfactsheet, revised October 2007, at
33 See CRS Report RL34207, Crop Insurance and Disaster Assistance in the 2008 Farm Bill, by Ralph M. Chite, from
which some of this material was drawn.

Under the tax title (Title XV) of the new farm bill, §15101 creates a new Agricultural Disaster
Relief “Trust Fund” for crop years 2008-2011, estimated by CBO to cost $3.8 billion over the
period. Of the five new programs under which payments could be made are three relating to
• The Livestock Indemnity Program, making payments based on 75% of fair
market value of livestock that die in excess of normal mortality rates due to
adverse weather;
• The Livestock Forage Disaster Program, providing assistance to ranchers with
forage losses due to drought, with eligibility requirements and payments based on
a formula in the new law; and
• Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish,
making available a total of up to $50 million from the Trust Fund for emergency
relief to producers of these animals with losses due to adverse weather or other
Questions about the applicability of federal environmental laws to livestock and poultry
operations have drawn congressional attention. As animal agriculture increasingly concentrates
into larger, more intensive production units, interest arises about impacts on the environment,
including surface water, groundwater, soil, and air. Some environmental laws specifically exempt
agriculture from regulatory provisions, and some are designed so that farms escape most, if not
all, of the regulatory impact. The primary regulatory focus for large feedlots is the Clean Water
Act (33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq.), since contaminants from manure, if not properly managed, also
affect both water quality and human health. Operations that emit large quantities of air pollutants
may be subject to Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. §§7401-7671q) regulation. In addition, concerns
about applicability of Superfund (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act (the Superfund law, 42 U.S.C. §§9601-9675) to livestock and poultry operations 34
are of growing interest.
The House and Senate Agriculture Committees do not have direct jurisdiction over federal
environmental law, but they do have a role in the issue. For example, under the conservation title
of recent farm bills, including the 2008 bill, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
(EQIP) has provided financial and technical assistance to farmers to protect surrounding
resources; livestock receives 60% of all funds. The new bill extends EQIP through FY2012,

34 Also see CRS Report RL31851, Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding
Operations (CAFOs), by Claudia Copeland; CRS Report RL32948, Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A
Primer, by Claudia Copeland; and CRS Report RL33691, Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and
Legislative Issues, by Claudia Copeland.

increases budget authority for the program during the period, makes conservation practices
related to organic certification eligible for payments, allocates a portion of EQIP money to air
quality activities, and provides new mandatory funding for agricultural water enhancement. The
new law also reduces the EQIP payment cap from $450,000 to $300,000 per person over six
years, with USDA authority to allow up to $450,000 in cases of special environmental
significance, such as methane digesters and other new technologies. Other conservation
provisions of interest to some segments of animal agriculture include the Conservation
Stewardship Program, the Grasslands Reserve Program, and the Wetlands Reserve Program.

House-Passed Bill Substitute Amendment New Law
Current Law/Policy (H.R. 2419) (H.R. 2419) (P.L. 110-246)
Livestock Mandatory Reporting
The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of No comparable provision. Changes the time of the afternoon swine Directs USDA to conduct a study of
1999 [7 U.S.C. 1635-1636h] established a report. Authorizes mandatory packer the economic impacts of pork product
program of mandatory reporting of reporting of wholesale pork product sales, focusing on wholesale pork cuts.
information regarding the marketing of live sales, after conducting an economic Also directs USDA to improve
cattle, boxed beef, swine, and lambs. study; and specifying that USDA will electronic reporting and publishing
Requires packers, processors, and make this information publicly available. under the program. [Sec. 11001]
importers to provide periodic reporting of [Sec. 10001]
price, volume, contract, and demand
information to USDA. The data are used to
iki/CRS-RL33958create price reports for livestock
s.orMeat and Poultry Inspection
The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) Requires USDA to report to Congress on Provides for a new opt-in program for State inspection provisions generally
://wiki[21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.] and the Poultry the effectiveness of each state inspection state-inspected plants with 25 or fewer the same as the Senate bill, without
httpProducts Inspection Act (PPIA) [21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.] permit states to operate their program and on the changes necessary to ensure enforcement of federal employees, which subjects them to federally-directed inspection using state the provision to provide 100% reimbursement for programs with
own meat and poultry inspection programs, requirements. Replaces current federal-employees. Provides for 3-year eligibility pathogen testing that exceed federal
if they are at least “equal to” (but not state cooperative inspection program for plants with between 25-35 testing. [Sec. 11015]
necessarily identical to) the federal with a new program whereby USDA employees. Sets federal reimbursement at

program. State-inspected meat and poultry would approve the shipment of state-not less than 60% for both meat and
cannot be shipped in interstate commerce. inspected meat and poultry from a state poultry programs and permits 100%
where key program requirements are reimbursements if pathogen testing
identical to federal requirements; permits exceeds typical federal testing, among
many plants currently under federal other provisions. [Sec. 11067]
inspection to shift to state inspection;
raises the federal reimbursement
maximum from 50% to 60% for poultry
programs only; among other things.
[Sec. 11103]

House-Passed Bill Substitute Amendment New Law
Current Law/Policy (H.R. 2419) (H.R. 2419) (P.L. 110-246)
Currently, USDA does not have authority No comparable provisions regarding Requires USDA to establish “reportable Amends the FMIA and PPIA to require
to mandate a recall of meat and poultry reportable food registries, recall plans, E. food registries” for meat and poultry and all establishments to promptly notify
products, relying instead on a voluntary, coli reassessment, or sanitary food their products. Requires all entities to USDA if they have reason to believe
cooperative approach with industry to transportation. include recall plans in their safety an adulterated or misbranded product
remove unsafe products. FSIS, which may prevention (i.e., HACCP) plans, with beef has entered commerce. Requires
learn of a potential recall from various entities also having an E. Coli establishments to prepare, and
sources, provides assistance and monitors reassessment. Directs HHS and USDA to maintain in writing, a product recall
the recall. Recall policies are spelled out in issue sanitary food transportation plan. [Sec. 11017]
FSIS Directive 8080.1. regulations. [Sec. 11087]
Seafood Grading and Inspection
The 2002 farm bill identifies the market and No comparable provision. Authorizes a voluntary USDA grading Makes “catfish,” as defined by the
common name for catfish for labeling program for catfish. Requires USDA to Secretary, an amenable species, and
purposes. [21 U.S.C. 321d] Sec. 203(c) of provide inspection activities for catfish, by therefore catfish products, subject to
the Agricultural Marketing Act (AMA) of adding catfish to the list of “amenable mandatory inspection; authorizes
iki/CRS-RL339581946 [7 U.S.C. 1622] authorizes USDA to develop standards to encourage uniformity species” under the FMIA. Specifies that new catfish grading and certification USDA to take into account the conditions under which catfish are
g/wand consistency in commercial marketing. programs shall not duplicate, impede, or raised and processed. Authorizes
s.orSec. 1(w) of FMIA [21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.] undermine similar activities conducted by USDA to establish a voluntary fee-
leakdefines “amenable species” subject to the Department of Commerce or by the based grading program for catfish and
mandatory inspection. Food and Drug Administration. to permit other seafood producers to
://wiki[Sec. 10002] apply for such grading. [Sec. 11016]
httpCountry-of-Origin Labeling (COOL)
Sec. 10816 of the 2002 farm bill amended Continues to require COOL by 2008 for Similar to the House bill, but further Continues to require implementation
the AMA of 1946 to require food stores to red meats and other covered makes macadamia nuts and chicken by 2008 for covered commodities, to
provide country of origin labeling (COOL) commodities. Adds meat produced from covered commodities. [Sec. 10003] which are added goat meat, chicken,
for beef, lamb, pork, seafood, peanuts, and goats. Makes changes to the labeling Creates a separate program for ginseng macadamia nuts, pecans, and ginseng.
perishable agricultural commodities. Sets requirements for fresh red meats, by for country of harvest labeling. Makes changes to the labeling
requirements on labeling USA products, creating a new labeling system for red [Sec. 10004] requirements for fresh red meats, by
recordkeeping, certification, enforcement, meats with new designation categories, creating a new labeling system for red
and fines for non-compliance. e.g., defines U.S. origin as a product from meats with these new designation
Appropriations acts delayed implementation an animal exclusively born, raised and categories, e.g., defines U.S. origin as a
of mandatory COOL for all covered slaughtered in the U.S. (or present in the product from an animal exclusively
commodities, most recently until Sept. 30, U.S. before Jan. 1, 2008). For all covered born, raised and slaughtered in the
2008 (except wild and farm-raised fish and commodities, eases record-keeping, U.S. (or present in the U.S. before July
shellfish, which went into effect in 2005.) [7 certification requirements, and reduces 15, 2008). For all covered
U.S.C. 1621 et seq.] fines for noncompliance. [Sec. 11104] commodities, eases record-keeping,
certification requirements, and

House-Passed Bill Substitute Amendment New Law
Current Law/Policy (H.R. 2419) (H.R. 2419) (P.L. 110-246)
reduces fines for noncompliance.
[Sec. 11002]
Agricultural Fair Practices Act
The Agricultural Fair Practices Act (AFPA) No provision. Amends AFPA as follows: Amends AFPA to modify the definition
of 1967 (P.L. 90-288) allows farmers to file —Expands the definition of “association of “association of producers” to
complaints with USDA if a processor of producers” to also include general include organizations with membership
refuses to deal with them because they are livestock, poultry and farm groups. [Sec. exclusively limited to agricultural
members of a bargaining or marketing 10101] producers and dedicated to promoting
association of producers. Makes it unlawful —Broadens the types of prohibited their products. [Sec. 11003]
for handlers to coerce, intimidate, or practices. [Sec. 10102]
discriminate against producers because they —Amends the enforcement provisions;
belong to such groups. clarifies civil actions against handlers,
[7 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.] providing for preventive relief, damage,
and attorneys fees. [Sec. 10103]
iki/CRS-RL33958—Directs USDA to promulgate rules/regulations. [Sec. 10104]
s.orPackers and Stockyards Act
leakThe Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act) Amends the P&S Act to direct USDA to Amends the P&S Act as follows: Amends the P&S Act as follows:
of 1921 (P.L. 67-51), as amended, provides establish regulatory standards for —Creates a new special counsel at —Requires an annual report from
://wikiUSDA with the basic authority to regulate arbitration provisions in livestock and USDA to investigate/prosecute violations USDA detailing investigations into
httpmarketing practices in the livestock, poultry, and meat industries. The law is to poultry contracts. Among other things, such regulations are intended to permit a of competition laws. [Sec. 10201] —Strengthens USDA enforcement violations of the P&S Act; [Sec. 11004] —Permits poultry and swine
prevent unfair, deceptive, and monopolistic producer to seek relief in a small claims authorities over live poultry dealers. [Sec. producers to cancel their contracts up
trade practices, focusing on livestock court, if within the court’s jurisdiction, 10202] to 3 business days after signing, and
terminal and auction markets, livestock regardless of a contract’s arbitration —Specifies conditions regarding requires clear disclosure in contracts
marketing agencies, dealers, meat packers, clause. [Sec. 11102] cancelling and securing contracts. of cancellation terms;
and live poultry dealers. Provides for producer choice of —Requires poultry and swine
[7 U.S.C. 181 et seq.] jurisdiction and venue, including contracts to contain a conspicuous
arbitration. [Sec. 10203] statement that additional large capital
—Allows growers to discuss contract investments may be required during
terms. [Sec. 10204] the term of the contract;
—Allows producers to seek remedy for —Requires USDA to issue rules on
violations. [Sec. 10205] such criteria as the reasonable period
—Allows USDA to seek outside counsel of time a producer should be given to
to aid in investigations and civil cases. remedy a breach of contract before it
[Sec. 10206] is cancelled;
—Prohibits major packers from owning, —Contains provisions intended to
feeding, or controlling livestock more assist producers deal with contract

House-Passed Bill Substitute Amendment New Law
Current Law/Policy (H.R. 2419) (H.R. 2419) (P.L. 110-246)
than 14 days prior to slaughter. [Sec. disputes, including arbitration terms,
10207] venue for any litigation. [Sec. 11005]
—Directs USDA to promulgate
regulations. [Sec. 10208]
Animal Pest and Disease Programs
Sec. 2506(d) of the 1990 farm bill Sense of Congress regarding pseudorabies Similar to the House bill, and also Similar to the House bill, also
authorizes appropriations and directs eradication program that USDA recognize recognizing the threat to the entire recognizing the threat to the entire
USDA to carry out pseudorabies the threat feral swine pose to the livestock industry. [Sec. 10301] livestock industry. [Sec. 11007]
eradication in U.S. swine populations. domestic swine population, and the need
Current concerns are that this disease for a surveillance program for monitoring
persists in feral populations and may be and eradication. [Sec. 11101]
reintroduced. [21 U.S.C. 114i]
Sec. 10409 of the Animal Health Protection No comparable provision. Directs USDA to establish and implement Directs USDA to establish and
Act (AHPA), enacted as part of the 2002 a trichinae certification program. implement a voluntary trichinae
iki/CRS-RL33958farm bill, directs USDA to carry out Authorizes appropriations of $1.25 certification program. Requires USDA
g/woperations and measures to detect, control, or eradicate any livestock pest or disease, million annually for FY2008-12. [Sec. 10304] to use not less than $6.2 million for the program; authorizes annual
s.orincl. animals at slaughterhouse, stockyard, appropriations of $1.5 million,
leakor other concentration point. [7 U.S.C. FY2008-2012. [Sec. 11010]
httpUSDA has authority to cooperate with states on laws that exclude, eradicate, Sense of Congress regarding the cattle fever tick eradication program that the Same as the House bill. [Sec. 10302] Same as the House and Senate bill. [Sec. 11008]
and/or control agricultural pests within the cattle fever tick and the southern cattle
AHPA [7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.] and the tick are vectors of the causal agent of
Talmadge-Aiken Act [7 U.S.C. 450]. Sections babesiosis, a severe and often fatal disease
of 21 U.S.C., Title 21 (Food and Drugs) also of cattle; and that implementing a national
cover the prevention and spread of strategic plan for the cattle fever tick
contagion. Current concerns are about eradication program is a high priority,
pesticide-resistant populations of the among other things. [Sec. 11106]
southern cattle tick in Mexico.
Sec. 10407(d)(2) of APHA specifies Sense of Congress regarding the Amends AHPA to compensate any Amends the AHPA to require the
compensation amounts for seizure, voluntary control program for low poultry contract grower or owner Secretary to compensate industry
quarantine, and disposal of animals that may pathogenic avian influenza program; and participating in the voluntary control participants and state agencies that
carry or have been infected with or that USDA should continue to provide program for low pathogenic avian cooperate in voluntary detection and
exposed to pests or diseases, and are compensation payments to poultry influenza under the National Poultry control programs at 100% of eligible
moved through interstate commerce or are owners and cooperating state agencies at Improvement Plan. Payments to costs. [Sec. 11011]

imported. [7 U.S.C. 8306(d)(2)] 100% of eligible costs. [Sec. 11105] cooperating state agencies to be 100% of

House-Passed Bill Substitute Amendment New Law
Current Law/Policy (H.R. 2419) (H.R. 2419) (P.L. 110-246)
the eligible costs. [Sec. 10306]
No comparable provision. No comparable provision. Sense of Senate that USDA should work No provision.
with the private insurers to implement an
expedited approach for indemnification of
livestock producers in cases of cata-
strophic disease outbreaks. [Sec. 10308]
Sec. 10411 of AHPA authorizes USDA No comparable provision. Establishes an advisory committee on Permits USDA to enter into
cooperative agreements with eligible national aquatic animal health; details cooperative agreements to carry out a
entities, including other governments and committee membership; requires USDA national aquatic animal health plan
associations, to conduct animal health regulations establishing a national aquatic under Sec. 10411 of the AHPA.
activities. [7 U.S.C. 8310] animal health improvement program Requires USDA to determine the
under AHPA authority; authorizes nonfederal share of costs (to be either
appropriations of $15 million for FY2008 cash or in-kind) on a case-by-case
and FY2009 for a new producer basis. Authorizes such sums as
indemnification fund and for necessary in each fiscal year, FY2008-
iki/CRS-RL33958implementation of an animal health task FY2012. [Sec. 11013]
g/wforce plan. [Sec. 11086]
s.orNational Animal Identification System
No comparable provision in AHPA. Under No comparable provision. Requires USDA regulations & public No provision.
://wikithis authority, in 2004, USDA accelerated comment addressing “protection of trade
httpwork on a voluntary National Animal Identification System (NAIS) to trace secrets and other proprietary and/or confidential business information that
animals from slaughter through all premises farmers and ranchers disclose in the
within 48 hours of an animal disease course of participation” in an animal ID
outbreak. system. [Sec. 10305]
Food Safety Commission
Sec. 10807 of the Farm Security and Rural No comparable provision. Establishes a Congressional Bipartisan No comparable provision.

Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171) Food Safety Commission to study and
established a 15-member Food Safety make recommendations to modernize
Commission appointed by the President to food safety programs, including
make recommendations to enhance the U.S. organizational and resource requirements
food safety system. Provision not which emphasize prevention and are
implemented. [21 U.S.C. 341 note] based on risk assessment and best-
available science. Specifies membership
requirements, meeting procedures and
timetables, and other aspects of the
commission’s report. [Sec. 11060]

House-Passed Bill Substitute Amendment New Law
Current Law/Policy (H.R. 2419) (H.R. 2419) (P.L. 110-246)
Requires the President review the report
and submit proposed legislation based on
recommendations. Expresses Sense of
the Senate on the need for additional
resources and direction for federal food
safety agencies, for agreements between
the U.S. and its trading partners, and for
comprehensive food safety legislation.
[Sec. 11072]
Foods from Cloned Animals
FDA had asked companies to voluntarily No comparable provision.Prohibits FDA No comparable provision. No comparable provision.
not introduce meat and milk from cloned from issuing a final risk assessment and
animals and offspring until it completes a lifting the voluntary moratorium until
final risk assessment and guidance on their completion of newly mandated National
iki/CRS-RL33958safety. FDA published the final risk assessment/guidance on 1/15/08; USDA has Academy of Sciences and USDA studies on, respectively, the safety and on the
g/wasked that the moratorium on cloned market impacts of introducing products
s.oranimals (but not offspring) continue until from cloned animals. [Sec. 7507]
leakmarkets are educated on safety.
://wikiAnimal Welfare Act
httpNo comparable provision under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) [7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.], Amends the AWA to prohibit use of live animals for marketing medical devices. No comparable provision on medical marketing. Increases maximum fines for AWA violations from $2,500 to $10,000 per
which is intended to ensure the humane Increases the cap for AWA violations to violation. Other House changes not
treatment of research animals, bred for $10,000 per violation, and specifies that adopted. [Sec. 14214]
commercial sale, exhibited to the public, or each day, each violation, and each animal
commercially transported; and to prevent subject to a violation is to be considered
animal fighting activities. Authorizes fines up a separate offense, among other things.
to $2,500 for violations; each violation and [Sec. 11316]
each day is considered a separate offense.
Sec. 7 of the AWA prohibits research Replaces language in Sec. 7 to expand the Same as the House provision except a Directs USDA to review “any
facilities from buying dogs or cats except definition of a person regulated under this provision directing that use of random independent reviews by a nationally
from certain persons regulated under the section; and to stipulate permissible source dogs and cats from “Class B recognized panel of experts” on Class
AWA. sources of dogs and cats for research dealers” be phased out within 5 years of B use by researchers, and to report on
facilities. Introduces an additional penalty enactment. [Sec. 11079] how any recommendations can be
of $1,000 for each violation of this section applied at USDA. [Sec. 14216]

of the AWA. [Sec. 11317]

House-Passed Bill Substitute Amendment New Law
Current Law/Policy (H.R. 2419) (H.R. 2419) (P.L. 110-246)
Sec. 26 of the AWA spells out a series of No comparable provisions on animal Amends the AWA to strengthen Animal fighting provisions generally
prohibited acts related to animal fighting fighting or commercial importation of prohibitions on dog and other animal reflect Senate language. [Sec. 14207]
and establishes penalties for violations. [18 young dogs. fighting activities; defines a dog fighting Dog importation provisions generally
U.S.C. 49] Enables the federal government venture; and appears to expand who can reflect Senate language, with additional
to collect costs incurred for caring for collect for costs of care of seized animals. limited exceptions for those imported
seized animals. Increases the maximum imprisonment into Hawaii. [Sec. 14210]
No comparable AWA provision on from 3 to 5 years. [Sec. 11076]
importation of young dogs. Amends the AWA to require HHS and
USDA regulations prohibiting importing for resale dogs less than 6 months of age,
unless USDA determines the dog is in
good health and has all necessary
vaccinations (exemptions for research or
veterinary treatment). [Sec. 3205]
iki/CRS-RL33958Disaster Assistance
g/wCongress periodically provides ad-hoc No comparable provision. Creates permanent authority for a Creates a new Agricultural Disaster
s.oremergency disaster payments to crop and disaster payment program that provides Relief “Trust Fund” for crop years
leaklivestock growers to supplement income following a natural disaster. Most recently, payments to crop and livestock growers who experience significant production 2008-2011, funded through a transfer of the equivalent of 3.08% of annual
://wikiCongress provided emergency supplemental assistance for 2005, 2006, or losses in a USDA-declared disaster area. For FY2008-12, the program is funded customs receipts from the U.S. Treasury. Of the five new programs
http2007 production losses. [Sec. 9001 of P.L. through a transfer of the equivalent of under which payments could be made,
110-28, as amended by P.L. 110-161]. 3.34% of annual customs receipts. three relate to livestock:
Payments are made under new (1) Livestock Indemnity Program,
permanent programs: livestock indemnity; making payments based on 75% of fair
emergency livestock assistance; and market value of livestock that die in
honey bees, farm raised catfish (as well as excess of normal mortality rates due
crop disaster; tree assistance) [Sec. to adverse weather;
12101] (2) Livestock Forage Disaster
Program, providing assistance to
ranchers with forage losses due to
drought, with eligibility requirements
and payments based on a formula in
the new law; and
(3) Emergency Assistance for
Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-
Raised Fish, making available a total of
up to $50 million from the Trust Fund

House-Passed Bill Substitute Amendment New Law
Current Law/Policy (H.R. 2419) (H.R. 2419) (P.L. 110-246)
for emergency relief to producers of
these animals with losses due to
adverse weather or other conditions.
[Sec. 15101]
Other Provisions
Sec. 375 of the Consolidated Farm and Reauthorizes appropriations of $10 Also eliminates statutory requirement to Similar to Senate provision, but does
Rural Development Act (Con Act), as million annually (FY2008-12). Eliminates eventually privatize the revolving fund. not rename the program. [Sec. 11009]
amended, established the National Sheep statutory requirement to eventually Renames the program as the National
Industry Improvement Center to provide privatize the revolving fund. [Sec. 6015] Sheep and Goat Industry Improvement
financial assistance for the enhancement and No other comparable changes as specified Center, and provides for new mandatory
marketing of U.S. sheep or goat products, in the Senate bill. funding of $1 million for FY2008, to be
focusing on infrastructure development. available until expended. Authorizes $10
Funding includes manda-tory funds of $28 million annually for FY2008-12 to cover
million for a revolving fund, and infrastructure development, business
iki/CRS-RL33958appropriations authorized at $30 million. [7 U.S.C. 2008j] planning, production, resource development and market and
g/wenvironmental research. [Sec. 10303]
s.orNo comparable provision. No comparable provision. Requires USDA report on the potential Requires USDA report on animal
leakeconomic issues (including costs) manure use as agricultural fertilizer,
associated with animal manure used in potential impact on consumers and
://wikinormal agricultural operations and as a agriculture from limitations on its
httpbioenergy feedstock. [Sec. 10307] utilization, and effects on agriculture of
increasing its use for bioenergy
production. [Sec. 11014]
The 2002 farm bill does not include a No new title; includes most animal Creates new farm bill title, Livestock Creates new farm bill title, Livestock
separate title for animal agriculture. agriculture provisions as part of the Marketing, Regulatory, and Related (Title XI).
Miscellaneous Title XI. Programs (Title X).

Geoffrey S. Becker Renée Johnson
Specialist in Agricultural Policy Specialist in Agricultural Policy, 7-7287, 7-9588