The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 (S. 3656) and the Veterinary Services Investment Act (H.R. 3519).

The Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 will reauthorize mandatory price reporting programs, which USDA has implemented for the past five years. It requires livestock sales information to be reported and published in a timely fashion, allowing buyers and sellers to make more informed decisions.

The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act was set to expire Sept. 30. The just-passed version includes new provisions requiring weekly reporting of pork exports – by price and volume – and of wholesale pork cuts.

"The transparent, timely and accurate market information provided by mandatory price reporting programs is a vital and necessary tool for agriculture producers," says Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who chairs the House agriculture committee.

The House Agriculture Committee passed mandatory price reporting legislation (H.R. 5852) back on July 28. To ensure timely implementation, the House approved the identical Senate-passed bill. This act now goes to President Obama's desk for his signature.

“The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act is what provides transparency and certainty in the livestock markets and allows competition to thrive,” says Sam Carney, National Pork Producers Council president. “The new provision for wholesale pork reporting will make pricing data more fully reflect the marketplace today. The pork industry has changed since the reporting act was first adopted in 1999.”

Carney praised House Ag Chairman Peterson; ranking member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.); David Scott (D-Ga.), chairman of the livestock subcommittee; and Randy Neugebauer, ranking member of the livestock subcommittee, for their leadership on the issue. In the Senate, Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) led the fight to reauthorize the reporting act.

NPPC now is urging USDA to move quickly to develop a system for the wholesale pork cuts and pork exports reporting.

The House also approved the Veterinarian Services Investment Act, sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) It would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a grant program to “develop, implement and sustain” veterinary service to help relieve a shortage of veterinarians, particularly large-animal veterinarians. The program would include recruitment efforts and financial aid for veterinary students.

NPPC strongly supports the bill and its companion Senate bill (S. 3621).

"Rural areas are facing a critical and growing shortage of large-animal veterinarians. These veterinarians are the first lines of defense against animal diseases and a crucial player in ensuring the safety of our food," says Peterson. "This bill will encourage veterinarians to serve thse areas where their skills are needed."

The Veterinary Services Investment Act now moves to the Senate for consideration.