The National Pork Producers Council today asked for a waiver and exemption for livestock haulers from U.S. Department of Transportation regulations that could have negative effects on animal well-being.
The NPPC delivered to the office of DOT Secretary Elaine Chao a petition, which was filed on behalf of the U.S. pork industry and other livestock sectors, requesting the waiver and exemption because of concerns about the Electronic Logging Device Rule’s effects on animal well-being. It also asked the agency to address incompatibilities between the transportation of livestock and DOT’s Hours of Service rules. Those regulations limit truckers to 11 hours of driving daily, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, and restrict their on-duty time to 14 consecutive hours, which includes non-driving time.
“The ELD rule presents some serious challenges for livestock haulers and the animals in their care,” says NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “We’re asking the secretary to exempt truckers transporting hogs, cattle and other livestock from this regulation because they have a moral obligation to care for the animals they’re hauling regardless of what some bureaucratic rule says.”
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act, enacted as part of the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, mandated ELDs by Dec. 18, 2017, for commercial motor vehicles involved in interstate commerce, when operated by drivers who are required to keep records of duty status. ELDs, which can cost from $200 to $1,000, record driving time, monitor engine hours, vehicle movement and speed, miles driven and location information.
DOT recently issued an interpretation intended to address shortcomings in its Hours of Service rules, exempting from the regulations and from any distance-logging requirements truckers hauling livestock within a 150 air-mile radius of the location at which animals were loaded.
The NPPC and other livestock groups also are supporting language included in the transportation fiscal 2018 funding bill that would delay the ELD mandate for one year for livestock haulers.