Livestock transportation bill gradually gaining support

June 28, 2019


A bill that would provide livestock haulers some relief from hours-of-service regulations is gradually gaining support in the House and the Senate.

The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act is up to 43 co-sponsors in the House and 19 in the Senate.

HR487, which was introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., on Jan. 10, has gained five co-sponsors this month. SB1255, which was introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., on April 30, added Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., as a co-sponsor on June 26.

The legislation would:

  • Provide that hours of service and electronic logging device requirements are inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300 air miles from their source. Drive time for hours-of-service purposes would not start until after the 300 air mile threshold.
  • Exempt loading and unloading times from the hours-of-service calculation of driving time.
  • Grant flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against hours of service.
  • Allow drivers to complete their trip – regardless of hours of service – if they come within 150 air miles of their delivery point.
  • Ensure that, after the driver completes the delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is five hours less than the maximum on-duty time.

“The safe transportation of livestock is an essential part of feeding America,” Yoho said in a statement when his bill was introduced. “Hours-of-service regulations are rigid and costly for haulers. They also place the wellbeing and welfare of cattle, hogs, fish and other livestock at risk. Extended stops for a hauler, which would be necessitated by these HOS regulations, are especially dangerous for livestock during summer or winter months.”

The legislation is supported by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and the Livestock Marketing Association.

“Agriculture drives Nebraska, and nobody works harder to ensure the safety and well-being of livestock than the Nebraskans who hustle day in and day out,” Sasse said in a May news release. “Overly strict regulations are hurting our ranchers and our haulers. My legislation pushes back against those dumb regulations and works to promote safe transportation.”