The Modernising Agricultural Transportation Act was introduced by senators John Hoeven and Michael Bennet, who will establish a working group at the Department of Transportation to identify obstacles facing livestock hauliers.
The bill will also develop guidelines for regulatory or legislative action to improve livestock transportation.
Concerns have been expressed over the federally mandated electronic logging devices for livestock hauliers and existing Hours of Service rules. To address the worries, the Transporting Livestock Across American Safety Act was introduced to make changes to existing Hours of Service rules, making regulations more flexible for livestock hauliers.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said it was glad to see another bipartisan effort designed to provide much-needed relief for livestock hauliers.
“The Modernising Agricultural Transportation Act requires the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to establish a working group to address the implementation of electronic logging devices and the overly-restrictive hours of service rules that livestock hauliers face today,” said the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president Kevin Kester.
“We look forward to continuing our work with members of Congress, industry groups, and the Department of Transportation as we work to find solutions to our current transportation concerns.”
Meanwhile, The National Pork Producers Council NPPC) also welcomed the introduction, saying it was a reasonable solution for protecting highway safety, while allowing livestock hauliers to transport animals in a safe way.
“Pulling together all stakeholders with an interest in livestock hauling will ensure that the Department of Transportation has the tools necessary to ensure Hours of Service regulations address the realities of transporting animals in a practical, common-sense manner,” said NPPC president Jim Heimerl.
“As we’ve pointed out, a trucker hauling livestock can’t just pull over and go ‘off-duty,’ leaving animals unattended. The incompatibility between the Hours of Service regulations and livestock hauling must be addressed.”