NCBA said the TLAAS act would reform federal Hours of Service (HOS) that ensures animal welfare, highway safety and the well-being of livestock hauliers.
The TLAAS Act takes into full consideration the fact that there are living animals on trailers that must be kept moving, and that they must get to their destination as quickly and as safely as possible.
The bill provides more drive time for livestock hauliers, as well as granting the flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during the trip without breaking the HOS rule. The bill allows for another 150 air miles exemption on the back end of a livestock haul to account for the wait time that occurs when unloading live animals.
Electronic logging devices, which have been issued since 2015, track driving times and distances of livestock hauliers. Livestock hauliers are expected to use electronic logging devices from the 1 October.
Under the current rules, truckers are required to turn on their electronic logging devices after crossing out of the 150-air-mile radius from their loading point, after which they can only drive for 11 hours before taking a mandatory 10-hour break.
“The current Hours of Service rules for livestock hauliers present big challenges for our industry and can often jeopardise the health and well-being of livestock,” said NCBA president Kevin Kester. “Hauling livestock is inherently different than hauling products like paper towels or bottles of water.
“Live cattle can’t simply be left unattended in a trailer – especially in very hot or cold weather – for extended periods of time, and this bill takes that into account. Senator [Ben] Sasse deserves a lot of credit for his leadership on this issue, and we thank all of the original co-sponsors who stepped up to show their support for livestock hauliers and cattle producers across this country.”
Conditions of livestock exports have been flagged up recently, as Australia exporter Emanuel Exports recently apologised for its treatment of sheep after footage became viral of distressed sheep on board a vessel sailing from Australia to the Middle East.