Slaughterhouses and Stockyards Law and Legal Definition

A slaughterhouse is a building in which animals are killed and prepared for market. A stockyard is a profit or nonprofit market for livestock producers, feeders, market agencies, and buyers, where live cattle, sheep, or hogs, are received, held, or kept for sale and shipment in commerce. Because of the possibility of creating nuisances and unhealthy conditions resulting from the operation of a slaughterhouse, this activity is subject to strict regulation under the police power of the state. The statemay conduct inspections for health reasons. The buildings, equipment used, and operations a slaughterhouse may also be regulated.

Similarly, the operation and maintenance of a stockyard is also subject to regulation by the state under its police power for protecting the health and welfare of citizens. Therefore, the state require a license to be obtained in order to operate and maintain a stockyard, and that the licensee furnish a bond insuring compliance with applicable statutes, rules, and regulations. Stockyards, by conducting interstate commerce, are subject to federal regulation under the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act [7 USCS §§ 181 et seq.]. The act is aimed at ensuring just and reasonable rates charged to customers and the maintenance of open and free competition among buyers and sellers.