Bills Introduced to Resolve Issues for Livestock Haulers
In a bi-partisan effort to address the issues livestock haulers are grappling with thanks to the restrictive hours-of-service rules, senators Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) introduced the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act (S. 1255) this week. The bill is the companion to the House version (H.R. 487) introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (Fla.).
Specifically, this legislation:
- Increases the exempt air miles for livestock haulers from 150 to 300 air miles;
- Exempts loading and unloading time from the hours-of-service calculation;
- Extends on-duty time from the current maximum of 11 hours with greater flexibility;
- Allows drivers to complete delivery if they come within 150 air miles of their delivery point, regardless of hours of service to that point.
The American Sheep Industry Association is appreciative of senators Sasse and Tester for their leadership on this issue, as well as the many co-sponsors. The bill was also co-sponsored by: senators Deb Fischer (Neb.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), James Risch (Idaho), Steve Daines (Mont.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tina Smith (Minn.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Doug Jones (Ala.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and James Lankford (Okla.).
Also, House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Rep. Greg Pence (Ind.) introduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act (H.R. 2460). This legislation holds similar aims to rectify issues with not only the hours of service rules, but also electronic logging generally by ensuring ag and livestock haulers are included in the rulemaking process.
“ASI has been engaged in working with Congress and the administration for the past two years to ensure sheep producers have access to the livestock haulers they need,” said ASI President Benny Cox. “We applaud the efforts of senators Sasse and Tester and chairman Peterson and representative Pence. ASI commits to continue to work toward a permanent solution for our producers and haulers. With broad bi-partisan and bi-cameral support, we urge the House and Senate to work collaboratively to find a path forward to provide livestock permanent relief.”