A subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee has passed a bill that could exempt livestock haulers from the ELD mandate for an extra year.
The the bill was approved by the subcommittee on Tuesday, July 11th and is scheduled to be considered by the full Appropriations Committee on Monday, July 19th.
The bill was drafted by the US Cattleman’s Association in 2016 after USCA spokesman Joe Goggins explained to the Senate Agriculture Committee that the ELD mandate will “hamper the ability to move livestock quickly and efficiently.”
Goggins and other members of the USCA worry that the ELD mandate may “limit opportunities for producers in many parts of this country by reducing the number of people interested in buying their livestock.”
If the bill is approved by the House Appropriations Committee, it could mean that haulers of livestock will be given “an additional year for our industry to work with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to find acceptable solutions to the restrictive Hours-of-Service Rules for livestock haulers,” said USCA’s Transportation Committee Chairman Steve Hilker.
Livestock is defined by the government as “…cattle, elk, reindeer, bison, horses, deer, sheep, goats, swine, poultry (including egg-producing poultry), fish used for food, and other animals designated by the [Secretary of Agriculture] that are part of a foundation herd or offspring,” allowing for any trucker hauling those types of livestock to qualify for the ELD exemption.
The bill must pass in the US House and in the Senate before it can become law.
Hilker and the USCA hopes the one-year delay will allow them enough time to convince lawmakers to implement permanent HOS exemptions for livestock haulers, such as eliminating mandated 30-minute breaks.
“We hope that our continued work with FMCSA will allow them to understand the needs of our industry: balancing the welfare of livestock, the safety of our highly skilled drivers and the need to get our animals moved in the safest and most efficient way possible for the driver, others on the road and the animals,” added National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president-elect Kevin Kester.