USDA pushes livestock scale regs

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is looking to standardize the scales that farmers use to weigh their livestock and poultry before they are sold in order to level the playing field across the industry.

"The purpose of these regulations is to ensure fairness and accuracy in the determination of prices the regulated entities pay for livestock and poultry," the agency wrote in the Federal Register.

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The USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration announced on Monday new requirements for these animal weight scales, which are based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology's 2013 handbook.

The new rules apply to stockyard owners, market agencies, dealers, packers and live poultry dealers who use these scales to weigh their livestock, livestock carcasses, live poultry and feed. 

The rules require that the scales be installed, maintained and operated in a way that ensures they are accurately measuring the weight of these animals, because they play a role in determining the purchase price.

The rules goes into effect in 60 days.