Recently introduced U.S. House and Senate legislation could ease new trucking requirements for livestock haulers. The legislation stems from livestock industry concerns regarding mandatory electronic logging devices (ELDs), designed to limit hours truckers can drive.
The House Appropriations Committee’s bill would extend the ELD exemption and affirm a uniform hours-of-service rule for livestock haulers. The U.S. Fiscal Year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill was released May 15 and approved by the full committee May 23.
The Senate is also attempting to address concerns related to hours of service and ELD requirements with the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act. It would exempt livestock haulers from federal hours of service requirements until crossing 300 air miles from its origin. The bill, introduced May 23, would allow haulers to take a break during their drive without counting against trucking time, which would stretch from 11 to 18 hours.
U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, and nine bipartisan colleagues cosponsored the bill.
The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Mitt Walker said both pieces of legislation highlight important end goals — regulatory relief for farmers and the best care for livestock.
“We’re grateful lawmakers are introducing legislation that gives farmers flexibility and prevents undue stress on livestock during transport,” said Walker, the Federation’s National Legislative Programs director.
Livestock haulers are currently exempt from the ELD mandate until October, per the March 22 omnibus spending bill.