Session of 1999
SENATE BILL No. 258
By Committee on Agriculture
9 AN ACT concerning livestock; relating to regulating certain livestock
10 transactions; protection of producers against retaliation; prescribing
11 damages therefor; repealing K.S.A. 50-157.
13 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
14 Section 1. (a) As used in this section:
15 (1) "Livestock" means live cattle, swine, or sheep; and
16 (2) "packer" means a person who is engaged in the business of slaugh-
17 tering livestock or receiving, purchasing or soliciting livestock for slaugh-
18 tering, the meat products of which are directly or indirectly to be offered
19 for resale or for public consumption. The term "packer" includes an agent
20 of the packer engaged in buying or soliciting livestock for slaughter on
21 behalf of a packer. The term "packer" does not include a cold storage
22 plant, a frozen food locker plant, a livestock market or livestock auction
24 (b) A packer purchasing or soliciting livestock for slaughter in this
25 state may not discriminate in prices paid or offered to be paid to sellers
26 of that livestock. This section does not apply to the sale and purchase of
27 livestock if the following requirements are met:
28 (1) The price differential is based on the quality of the livestock, if the
29 packer purchases or solicits the livestock based upon a payment method
30 specifying prices paid for criteria relating to carcass merit; actual and
31 quantifiable costs related to transporting and acquiring the livestock by
32 the packer; or an agreement for the delivery of livestock at a specified
33 date or time; and
34 (2) after making a differential payment to a seller, the packer pub-
35 lishes information relating to the differential pricing, including the pay-
36 ment method for carcass merit, transportation and acquisition pricing,
37 and an offer to enter into an agreement for the delivery of livestock at a
38 specified date or time according to the same terms and conditions offered
39 to other sellers.
40 (c) A packer shall provide all sellers with the same terms and condi-
41 tions offered to a seller who receives a differential price based on any of
42 the criteria described in subsection (b).
43 (d) At the beginning of each day in which livestock are purchased, a
SB 258 2
1 packer shall post in a conspicuous place at the point of delivery all prices
2 for livestock to be paid that day. A packer, at the end of each day during
3 which livestock are purchased or contracted, shall provide to the United
4 States department of agriculture, agricultural market service livestock
5 market news branch, and the department of agriculture all prices paid
6 for livestock, both contract and direct purchased, that day.
7 (e) Any agreement made by a packer in violation of this section is
8 voidable. Any packer acting in violation of this section is guilty of a fraud-
9 ulent practice.
10 (f) The attorney general shall enforce the provisions of this section
11 and the department of agriculture shall refer any violations of these pro-
12 visions to the attorney general. The attorney general, for the enforcement
13 of this section, shall have the authority to subpoena witnesses, compel
14 such witnesses' attendance, examine such witnesses under oath, and re-
15 quire the production of documents, records or tangible things deemed
16 relevant to the proper performance of the attorney general's duties. Ser-
17 vice of any subpoena shall be made in the manner prescribed by the code
18 of civil procedure. The attorney general or any person injured by a vio-
19 lation of these provisions may bring an action in district court to restrain
20 a packer from violating these provisions. A seller who receives a discrim-
21 inatory price or who is offered only a discriminatory price for livestock
22 based upon a violation of these provisions by a packer has a civil cause of
23 action against the packer and, if successful, shall be awarded treble
25 (g) (1) Any packer shall make available for publication and to the
26 department of agriculture, a daily report setting forth information re-
27 garding prices paid for livestock, under each contract in force, in which
28 the packer is purchasing livestock which was fed or produced in this state,
29 and which sets a date for delivery more than 20 days after the making of
30 the contract.
31 (2) The reports shall be completed on forms prepared by the de-
32 partment for comparison with cash market prices for livestock. The report
33 may not include information regarding the identity of a seller.
34 (3) A failure of a packer to report as required by this section is pun-
35 ishable by a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each day that a timely
36 or truthful report is not published. The department shall refer to the
37 attorney general any packer or packer's agent who the department be-
38 lieves is in violation of the provisions of this section. The attorney general
39 may, upon referral from the department, file an action in district court
40 to enforce the provisions of this section.
41 Sec. 2. (a) No packer shall retaliate against any livestock producer on
42 account of any statement made by the producer regarding an action of
43 any packer.
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1 (b) Any producer who alleges that the producer has been the victim
2 of retaliation by a packer as prohibited in subsection (a) may file a com-
3 plaint with the livestock commissioner in such form and manner as pre-
4 scribed by the commissioner. If the commissioner believes that a packer
5 has violated or is violating the retaliation prohibition as provided in sub-
6 section (a), the commissioner shall issue a complaint and hold a hearing
7 to resolve the complaint which such hearing shall be conducted in ac-
8 cordance with the provisions of the Kansas administrative procedure act.
9 The commissioner shall find that the packer has violated or is violating
10 the provisions of subsection (a) if the finding is supported by a prepon-
11 derance of the evidence. After such a finding, the commissioner shall
12 determine the amount of damages sustained by the producer as a result
13 of the actions of the packer in violation of subsection (a).
14 (c) Violation of the provision of subsection (a) by a packer shall cause
15 the packer to be liable for damages to the producer injured by the retal-
16 iation for not more than three times the amount of damages sustained as
17 a result of the violation.
18 (d) Liability as provided in this section may be enforced either by a
19 complaint to the commissioner as provided in subsection (b) or by suit
20 filed by the producer in the district court of this state with competent
22 (e) The provisions of this section shall not abridge or alter a remedy
23 existing at common law or by law of this state. The remedy provided in
24 this section shall be in addition to any other remedy of law.
25 (f) Appeals to the courts from a decision of the hearing officer shall
26 be in accordance with the provisions of the act for judicial review and
27 civil enforcement of agency actions.
28 (g) As used in this section, (1) "livestock" means cattle, swine, or
30 (2) "packer" means a person who is engaged in the business of slaugh-
31 tering livestock or receiving, purchasing or soliciting livestock for slaugh-
32 tering, the meat products of which are directly or indirectly to be offered
33 for resale or for public consumption. The term "packer" includes an agent
34 of the packer engaged in buying or soliciting livestock for slaughter on
35 behalf of a packer. The term "packer" does not include a cold storage
36 plant, a frozen food locker plant, a livestock market or livestock auction
37 agency; and
38 (3) "producer" means any person engaged in the business of breed-
39 ing, grazing or feeding livestock.
40 Sec. 3. K.S.A. 50-157 is hereby repealed.
41 Sec. 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
42 publication in the statute book.