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Manitoba Agricutlure, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRD) reminds livestock producers to be careful in negotiating any sales of livestock, particularly from the farm gate. Any person who is buying livestock must possess a valid Livestock Dealer or Agents License issued by MAFRD, unless the buyer intends to keep the animals for at least 30 days. Individual order buyers and auction marts must have a dealers license. Abattoirs that are not exclusively custom slaughtering should have a dealers license.
Although direct sale from the farm is a viable marketing alternative, sellers should be assured of security of payment when negotiating transactions. All licensed dealers and their agents must carry a valid pocket license and produce it upon request. If an unknown buyer comes into the yard, demand to see their license before continuing with the sale.
All advertisements to buy livestock must include the information that the dealer is licensed and the license number.
The purpose of the Livestock Dealers and Agents Licensing Regulation is to protect sellers from payment defaults by the buyers. Licensed dealers are required to carry bond coverage. The level of coverage is determined by the volume of livestock they sell on an annual basis. If a default occurs, sellers can make a claim against the dealers bond to recover full or partial value of the livestock.
In order to ensure that the intended protection is provided, sellers should be aware of and adhere to specific requirements set out in the regulations.
At the time of sale, the buyer is obligated to provide the seller with a written statement including the names and addresses of both the seller and the livestock dealer, the number and kind of livestock purchased, the unit (ex: per pound) and total purchase price, weight (if sold on a weight basis), amount of advance payment (if any) and net amount paid (after deductions).
The Livestock Dealers and Agents Licensing Regulation requires that payment be made no later than one day following price determination. If the seller allows more time than this to receive payment, then credit is being extended to the buyer and there may not be any recourse in recovering the value of the sale.
If payment is made by cheque, the seller must deposit or cash the cheque within eight business days of price determination. Failing to deposit a cheque within this period of time is also considered to be an extension of credit to the dealer. If there are insufficient funds to cover the payment, the seller then has seven business days to bring the issue to the attention of MAFRD and initiate a claim against the dealer's bond.
These time requirements are not intended to protect dealers from having claims filed against their bond. Rather, they are designed to ensure that the regulations can be applied in a fair and timely fashion.
Any questions or concerns regarding licensed livestock dealers or agents should be addressed to MAFRD Livestock Knowledge Centre at 204-945-7691.
For other information, contact your MAFRD GO Office.