Several Georgia lawmakers, including some from the North Georgia area, are urging U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to tackle some poultry regulations they say would cost Georgia's poultry industry billions of dollars.
Representatives Doug Collins (Ga-9), Austin Scott (Ga-8), Rick Allen (GA-12), Buddy Carter (GA-1), Tom Graves (GA-14), Jody Hice (GA-10), David Scott (GA-13), Rob Woodall (GA-7), Drew Ferguson (GA-3), and Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) all signed a letter Friday, with the requests to rescind or withdraw three poultry regulations.
The rules in question are the following Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration rules: Interim Final Rule, “Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act,” 81 Fed. Reg. 92566; the Proposed Rule, “Poultry Grower Ranking Systems,” 81 Fed. Reg. 92723; and Proposed Rule, “Unfair Practices and Undue Preferences in Violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act,” 81 Fed. Reg. 92703.
The regulations were published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016, "in spite of repeated signals from Congress that they exceeded the scope of the 2008 Farm Bill and strayed wildly from Congressional intent," the letter said. They also commended the USDA for taking preliminary action on February 6 and extending public comment on the interim final rule.
Also in the letter, a study by FarmEcon LLC indicated the regulations would cost the chicken industry $1.03 billion dollars over five years in reduced efficiency, high costs for feeding and housing and increased administrative expenses.
In the letter the lawmakers request that after the public comment period is complete, the two proposed rules will be withdrawn and the interim final rule will be rescinded.
The full letter can be viewed here.