Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 277
Missouri Livestock Marketing Law

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Designation of chapter.

277.010. This chapter shall be known and referred to as "Missouri Livestock Marketing Law".

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 1, A.L. 1957 p. 20)

Definitions.

277.020. The following terms as used in this chapter mean:

(1) "Livestock", cattle, swine, sheep, ratite birds including but not limited to ostrich and emu, aquatic products as defined in section 277.024, llamas, alpaca, buffalo, elk documented as obtained from a legal source and not from the wild and raised in confinement for human consumption or animal husbandry, goats and poultry, equine and exotic animals;

(2) "Livestock market", a place of business or place where livestock is concentrated for the purpose of sale, exchange or trade made at regular or irregular intervals, whether at auction or not, except this definition shall not apply to any public farm sale or purebred livestock sale, or to any sale, transfer, or exchange of livestock from one person to another person for movement or transfer to other farm premises or directly to a licensed market;

(3) "Livestock sale", the business of mediating, for a commission, or otherwise, sale, purchase, or exchange transactions in livestock, whether or not at a livestock market; except the term "livestock sale" shall not apply to order buyers, livestock dealers or other persons acting directly as a buying agent for any third party;

(4) "Person", individuals, partnerships, corporations and associations;

(5) "State veterinarian", the state veterinarian of the Missouri state department of agriculture.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 2, A.L. 1957 p. 20, A.L. 1989 S.B. 300, A.L. 1993 H.B. 566 merged with S.B. 84, A.L. 1995 S.B. 109, A.L. 2005 S.B. 355)

Ratite birds classified as livestock.

277.022. For the purposes of any rule or regulation promulgated by any department, board, or commission of this state, ratite birds including, but not limited to, ostrich and emu, scientifically designated as Dromiceius novaehollandiae, shall be treated and classified as livestock rather than as exotic animals.

(L. 1993 H.B. 566 § 13 merged with S.B. 84 § 13)

Aquatic products classified as livestock.

277.024. 1. As used in this section, the term "aquaculture" means the controlled propagation, growth and harvest of aquatic organisms, as defined by rule of the conservation commission.

2. For the purposes of construction of any law of this state or any rule or regulation promulgated by any department, board, or commission of this state, aquatic products obtained through aquaculture shall be treated and classified as livestock.

(L. 1995 S.B. 109 § 1)

License required to hold livestock sale.

277.030. No person as defined in this chapter shall engage in the business of operating a livestock sale or market unless duly licensed as hereinafter provided.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 3, A.L. 1957 p. 20)

Application for license--issuance--disposition of fees.

277.040. 1. Any person engaged in establishing or operating a livestock sale or market for the purpose aforesaid shall file with the state veterinarian of the state department of agriculture an application for a license to transact such business under the provisions of this chapter. The application shall state the nature of the business and the city, township and county, and the complete post office address at which the business is to be conducted, together with any additional information that the state veterinarian requires, and a separate license shall be secured for each place where a sale is to be conducted such as is defined and required to be licensed under the provisions of this chapter.

2. The state veterinarian shall then issue to the applicant a license upon payment of an annual license fee to be fixed by rule or regulation entitling the applicant to conduct a livestock sale or market for the period of the license year or for any unexpired portion thereof, unless the license is revoked as herein provided.

3. All license fees collected under this chapter shall not yield revenue greater than the total cost of administering this chapter during the ensuing year. All license fees collected shall be made payable to the order of the state treasurer and deposited with him to the credit of the "Livestock Sales and Markets Fees Fund" hereby created, subject to appropriation by the general assembly, to inure to the use and benefit of the animal health division of the department of agriculture.

4. No business entity, whether a proprietorship, partnership or corporation shall be issued a livestock market license if any such proprietor, partner or, if a corporation, any officer or major shareholder thereof, participated in the violation of any provision of this chapter within the preceding five years, which resulted in the revocation of a livestock market license.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 4, A. 1949 S.B. 1100, A.L. 1957 p. 20, A.L. 1989 S.B. 300, A.L. 2015 S.B. 12)

Suspension or revocation of license,grounds--hearing--review--violations of marketing laws, hearingprocedure, penalties.

277.050. 1. The director of the Missouri department of agriculture or his designated representative, after a public hearing, held after at least ten days' notice of the date of such hearing to the licensee together with a full copy of the charges of the alleged violations may suspend or revoke any license when he has sufficient evidence of the existence of any of the following violations, except that any suspension or revocation order made by the director is subject to appeal as provided in subsection 2 of this section:

(1) Where there have been false or misleading statements willfully or knowingly made by the licensee as to the health, origin or physical condition of any animal or animals offered with regard to official tests or numbers of animals, or the practice of fraud or misrepresentation in connection therewith;

(2) Where licensee engages in buying or receiving animals or receiving, selling, exchanging, soliciting or negotiating the sale, resale or exchange (a) of animals that are known or should by the use of reasonable care be known to be diseased or to have been exposed to contagious, infectious or communicable diseases that are likely to be transmitted to other animals or human beings or (b) of animals that are known to have been stolen;

(3) Where the licensee fails to practice measures of sanitation and disinfection of premises or vehicles used by or for him in the stabling, yarding, housing, holding or transporting of animals as provided in this chapter;

(4) Where there has been failure to keep records as required by this chapter, or where there is a refusal on the part of the licensee to produce records or transactions in the carrying on of the business for which the license is granted;

(5) Where licensee fails to execute and maintain a satisfactory bond, as required in this chapter or where the licensee operates while insolvent or fails to timely pay for livestock;

(6) Where the licensee refuses or fails to practice or put into effect any rule or regulation promulgated by the state veterinarian in regard to any and all matters relating to the enforcement of this chapter;

(7) Where the licensee acting alone or in concert with any third party shall know or should know that such act violates any provision of the animal health laws of this state or of the United States, or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder pertaining to the movement of livestock, or involving any method or procedure for the control, treatment, or eradication of any livestock disease.

2. The licensee may, when any order is made by the director suspending or revoking his license or imposing a civil penalty, apply for review of such order as provided by chapter 536.

3. In any situation wherein there is reason to believe that a violation exists involving the sanitary or structural condition of the market facility, the form in which records are maintained, or the procedures used in conducting sales, the licensee shall be notified thereof by certified letter and if corrective measures are not undertaken within a reasonable time, the licensee shall be summoned by the state veterinarian to appear at an informal hearing to discuss the violation. In the event that there is a failure to resolve the issues in question or a failure to appear, the director shall then proceed under subsection 1 of this section. For any individual violation of this chapter deemed by the director, after a public hearing, to warrant less than a suspension or revocation of license, the director may assess a civil penalty of not greater than one thousand dollars for each such violation, such penalty to be assessable against the licensee and also against any third party acting in concert or conspiring with the licensee. Any civil penalties assessed under this subsection shall be deposited in the livestock sales and market fees fund.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 5, A.L. 1957 p. 20, A.L. 1989 S.B. 300)

Effective 5-4-89

Posting of license.

277.060. Every licensee licensed under the provisions of this chapter and carrying on or conducting business under the license shall publicly post, in a conspicuous place in or at the place of business, the license issued by the state veterinarian, the license to be kept so posted or displayed for inspection by any person.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 6, A.L. 1957 p. 20)

Responsibility of licensee--net proceeds.

277.070. 1. Each licensee is responsible to the consignor of any animal offered in the livestock sale for the net proceeds of any bona fide sale of the animal and on the date of sale is responsible to the purchaser of the livestock for the safe delivery of the animal to the purchaser or his agent in a loading chute at site of the sale.

2. "Net proceeds" means and includes the amount remaining of any sale after deducting commissions, inspection fees and all other deductible items authorized by the terms of sale as announced by licensee, his or its agents, at the opening of the livestock sale at which the sale is made.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 7, A.L. 1957 p. 20)

Bond--letter of credit or other financial securityrequired--form--refusal by director, when, powers of director.

277.080. 1. Every person subject to the provisions of this chapter shall, before receiving a license, provide a satisfactory bond in an amount designated by the state veterinarian.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 1 of this section, a licensee may substitute in lieu of any bond required therein a certificate of deposit issued by an institution insured by the federal deposit insurance corporation or the federal savings and loan insurance corporation or a bank irrevocable letter of credit, or any combination thereof, or any instrument of financial security approved and authorized by the Packers and Stockyards Administration of the United States Department of Agriculture. Letters of credit shall name the director of the department of agriculture or his designated representative as beneficiary, and be submitted in a form established by rule or regulation. The director of the department of agriculture or his designated representative may refuse to accept a letter of credit in lieu of the bond required by this chapter if the director finds that the issuing bank is or may become insolvent, or for any other reason may be unable to honor the terms of the letter of credit. The director may require an issuing bank to submit evidence of its financial condition, and the director may seek the cooperation of the division of finance in evaluating the financial condition of an issuing bank. In the event that the licensee entered into a trust fund agreement, the beneficiary of a letter of credit or the pledgee of a certificate of deposit shall be in accordance with the federal Packers and Stockyards Administration Act. In any situation wherein a trust agreement is entered into, the state veterinarian shall be the trustee on a letter of credit.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 8, A.L. 1957 p. 20, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 1989 S.B. 300)

Effective 5-4-89

Sales record to be kept.

277.090. The licensee shall maintain and keep a complete record so that the state veterinarian, his deputy or any peace officer may ascertain therefrom the origin and destination of each animal sold by the licensee within one year next after date of the sale.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 9, A.L. 1957 p. 20)

Inspection and test to be made by approved persons--request by marketoperator to dismiss inspecting veterinary, procedure.

277.100. 1. The state veterinarian shall require all licensees defined in this chapter to obtain inspection of all livestock offered for sale at any livestock sale or market in the manner that he designates.

2. The state veterinarian, or his deputy, may in his discretion order any livestock vaccinated or quarantined or both if he thinks such action advisable. The authority to require vaccination given herein shall not be construed to give the state veterinarian power to issue a general order for the vaccination of all livestock sold in this state or sold at all livestock sales in this state.

3. Livestock inspections, and all official testing of livestock for disease, including any method of identifying animals in connection with a disease, shall be made by a licensed veterinarian or other person approved by the state veterinarian and whose performance of official tests or inspections shall be in accordance with rules and regulations that may be made by the state veterinarian not contrary to the provisions of this chapter. The veterinary inspector is subject to dismissal by the state veterinarian for neglect of duty in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or for misconduct while on official duty. Any market operator who desires to dismiss from his position a veterinarian approved under this section, shall notify the state veterinarian, who shall review the circumstances surrounding the proposed dismissal. The state veterinarian shall provide both the market operator and the market veterinarian an opportunity to appear and be heard. In the event that such circumstances cannot be satisfactorily resolved within thirty days, the state veterinarian shall withdraw approval of the market veterinarian for that market or sale, unless it shall appear that the predominant reason for dismissal is a refusal by the market veterinarian to breach a state or federal requirement relating to the performance of official tests and inspections.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 10, A.L. 1957 p. 20, A.L. 1989 S.B. 300)

Effective 5-4-89

Records, authority to inspect--subpoena powers--financial recordsconfidential, exception.

277.120. The state veterinarian or his duly authorized representative may inspect the records of any livestock sales or market licensee, at any reasonable time, to determine the origin and destination of any livestock handled by the licensee, or to determine if any provision of this chapter has been violated. In addition, the state veterinarian may subpoena any market record or any record relating to a market transaction. Such subpoena shall be enforceable in the circuit court of the county in which the livestock market is located or wherein any livestock sale transaction is consummated. Any documents or records obtained by the state veterinarian or his representatives which reveal the financial condition of a licensee shall be deemed confidential, and shall not be disclosed except at a hearing before the director or a court.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 12, A.L. 1957 p. 20, A.L. 1989 S.B. 300)

Effective 5-4-89

Licensee shall determine true ownership.

277.130. The licensee shall use reasonable care to determine the true ownership and source of any livestock sold or offered for sale and shall keep a record of same.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 13, A.L. 1957 p. 20)

Penalties.

277.140. Any person, or any officer, agent, representative or employee of such person, who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall upon conviction be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and in addition thereto his or their license is subject to suspension or revocation by the state veterinarian.

(L. 1943 p. 310 § 14, A.L. 1957 p. 20)

Warranties of merchantability or fitness to be in writing.

277.141. If a contract for the sale of livestock does not contain a written statement as to a warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, the seller is not liable for damages resulting from the lack of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose of the livestock sold under the terms of that contract.

(L. 1980 H.B. 972)

Rulemaking authority of state veterinarian, procedure.

277.160. The state veterinarian is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to aid in the administration and enforcement of this chapter. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated under the authority of this chapter shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to the provisions of section 536.024.

(L. 1989 S.B. 300, A.L. 1993 S.B. 52, A.L. 1995 S.B. 3)

Injunction powers of state veterinarian.

277.170. The state veterinarian may apply to the circuit courts and the circuit courts shall be authorized to issue orders enjoining any violation of this chapter.

(L. 1989 S.B. 300)

Effective 5-4-89

Bribes to violate the livestock marketinglaw--class E felony.

277.180. 1. Any person who offers a bribe to any livestock market or sale operator or market veterinarian for the purpose of inducing such operator or veterinarian to violate the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a class E felony.

2. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any private cause of action, or to establish any substitute principal of a law in connection therewith.

(L. 1989 S.B. 300 §§ 277.180, 277.200, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

Inspection of records of certain licensees by law enforcement--holdorder, contents--violation, penalty--confidentiality ofinformation.

277.190. 1. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, upon request of a law enforcement officer to inspect any record open to inspection by the state veterinarian under section 277.120, or any record open to inspection by the department of agriculture, of any livestock sales or market licensee to determine the origin and destination of any livestock handled by the licensee, the law enforcement officer shall be entitled to inspect such records of the licensee without prior notice or the necessity of obtaining a search warrant during regular business hours in a manner so as to minimize interference with or delay to the licensee's business operation. When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that livestock in the possession of a licensee is misappropriated, the officer may place a hold order on the livestock. The hold order shall contain the following information:

(1) The name of the licensee;

(2) The name and mailing address of the licensee where the livestock is held;

(3) The name, title, and identification number of the law enforcement officer placing the hold order;

(4) The name and address of the agency to which the law enforcement officer is attached and the claim or case number, if any, assigned by the agency to the claim regarding the livestock;

(5) A description of the livestock; and

(6) The time of expiration of the holding period.

The hold order shall be signed and dated by the issuing officer and signed and dated by the licensee or the licensee's designee as evidence of the hold order's issuance by the officer, receipt by the licensee and the beginning time of the holding period. The officer issuing the hold order shall provide an executed copy of the hold order to the licensee for the licensee's record-keeping purposes at no cost to the licensee.

2. For the purposes of this section, the term "hold order" shall mean a written legal instrument issued to a licensee by a law enforcement officer ordering the licensee to retain physical possession of livestock in the possession of a licensee or livestock purchased by and in the possession of a licensee and not to return, sell or otherwise dispose of such livestock that is believed to be misappropriated for up to twenty-four hours.

3. Upon receiving the hold order, the licensee shall retain physical possession of the livestock subject to the order in a secured area.

4. A violation of, or noncompliance with, this section shall be a class A misdemeanor. Gross negligence or willful noncompliance with the provisions of this section by a licensee shall be cause for the licensing authority to suspend or revoke the licensee's license. Any imposed suspensions or revocation provided for by this subsection may be appealed by the licensee to the licensing authority or to a court of competent jurisdiction.

5. All records and information that relate to a licensee's purchases or transactions and that are delivered to or otherwise obtained by an appropriate law enforcement officer under this section are confidential and may be used only by such appropriate law enforcement officer and only for the following official law enforcement purposes:

(1) The investigation of a crime specifically involving the livestock delivered to the licensee in a purchase or transaction; or

(2) The notification of property crime victims of where livestock that has been reported misappropriated can be located.

(L. 2009 H.B. 62 § 1)


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