Livestock dealer sues stockyards

Sep 14, 2012
by WLJ

The Oklahoma National Stock Yards (ONSY) says a livestock dealer’s allegations that it is engaging in price manipulation are false.

The stockyards released a statement last week in response to claims in a federal lawsuit filed by Parker Livestock of Thomas. The lawsuit claims that the stockyard employees are violating the 1921 federal Packers and Stockyards Act.

Parker Livestock owner John Parker claims he was banned from the stockyard’s auctions after pointing out certain violations he believed were occurring. But according to the stockyards, Parker was banned for repeated inappropriate, disruptive behavior, and his allegations are false.

The lawsuit states that from June 2009 through March 2012, Parker purchased about 10 percent of the cattle sold at the stockyards’ Monday auctions.

“Due to the large number of and wide variety of cattle that Parker purchases, excluding Parker from the Monday auction at ONSY depresses the prices paid at the auction for all types of cattle sold at the Oklahoma City stockyards,” the law suit alleges.

It also alleges the actions affect the entire U.S. cattle market.

“All stocker and feeder cattle purchases and sales in the United States are impacted by the Monday auction in Oklahoma City because it is the first auction of the week and one of the largest,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that one or more of the lawsuit’s eight defendants have misrepresented facts to USDA employees investigating Parker’s exclusion from the auctions. — WLJ