Regulatory Policy

The trend toward fewer and larger enterprises has brought environmental issues to the forefront of public policy regarding the U.S. livestock industry. As animal density (number of animals per unit of land area) increases, so do concerns regarding air and water quality, occupational health, and waste management. The Environmental Protection Agency posts information about the environmental requirements for the production of livestock in Animal Feeding Operations.

Any product that is used as an animal feed ingredient is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). CVM works with State and local authorities to set regulatory standards for feed ingredients. The agency also issues uniform feed-ingredient definitions and feed-labeling standards to ensure feed is safe.

Cattle are also affected by other Government policies and programs related to animal health, food safety, mandatory price reporting, and country-of-origin labeling.

Government Assistance Programs

Federal Government assistance to the cattle sector is limited to emergency measures approved for a specific scope and period of time to address the needs of producers suffering losses due to drought, hot weather, disease, insect infestation, flood, fire, hurricane, earthquake, severe storms, or other natural disasters. See the Disaster Assistance Programs section of USDA's Farm Service Agency web site for information on currently offered programs.