SD Stockgrowers Association applauded the decision made Monday by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue a 90-day waiver of new trucking mandates for trucks hauling livestock. The new regulations are set to go into effect on December 18 and require ELD’s to be installed in all commercial trucks. The require truckers to take regular breaks, limits the length of their drives and allows law enforcement to access those driving records on demand.
“We’re thankful that the agency is going to pull back on this regulation and take another look at it,” said SD Stockgrowers President Gary Deering. “We appreciate that they’ve listened to public pressure and delayed its implementation. We hope they can find a more permanent solution to regulations around trucking livestock.”
The South Dakota Stockgrowers also sent letters to Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds urging them to join with others in the U.S. Senate to delay the requirement for electronic log devices (ELD) to be used by livestock haulers beyond the 90-day waiver.
According to the letter sent Tuesday, Deering said, “We believe that the mandate should be lifted for a full year to take the pressure off our industry and give the agency time to find an appropriate, long-term solution for the livestock industry.”
“We are very concerned that without some adjustment, the new regulation will seriously impact the health, safety, and wellbeing of the livestock animals in our care.”
“These new regulations will result in situations where animals are offloaded and reloaded numerous times causing biosecurity concerns, are forced to stand in trailers without access to food and water, and have significant delays in delivery time. While we appreciate the need to ensure safety of trucks on our nation’s highways, the nature of hauling live animals requires more flexibility and consideration than the current mandate allows. When applied to livestock industry, the current regulations are impractical and inhumane.”
The Senate is considering legislation that would allow the ELD mandate to be implemented for all commercial trucks, but not require livestock trucks to use the technology until December of 2018.
Deering said, “The 90-day extension is a start, but a one year delay will give everyone time to find a workable solution to make sure our livestock trucks are safe on the highway without endangering the livestock that they’re hauling.”
A public comment period on the delay is open until November 30 and the public can submit comments by visiting www.regulations.gov and searching for “NPPC Electronic Logging Device”.