Amid the supply chain issues the nation is already dealing with, the Department of Transportation has rejected a request from livestock producers looking for an exemption to federal driving time regulations for truckers.
Representative Dan Newhouse, a Washington state Republican, says livestock haulers have different needs than other truckers because of the live cargo they’re carrying.
Newhouse; “You know, the livestock industry truly has some valid and unique requirements in order to transport animals. And I think the Department of Transportation has to recognize that for many reasons.”
Newhouse says this will only add to an already lengthy list of challenges.
“You pointed out the supply chain disruptions that this is going to cause, you know, on top of what we’re seeing in the rail industry, a looming strike there, truck driver shortages across the entire country. All of the challenges that we’re seeing on the supply chain, this is just going to be another pressure on supplies, on prices, on the ability to get products to market.”
Newhouse says it’s just common sense; “This is a reality when you’re dealing with live animals that the Department of Transportation, I think, has to recognize.”
Newhouse adds it’s a matter of animal welfare; “For me, as a former livestock producer myself, this is really, it causes a situation that we’re going to harm potentially animals to weather conditions, to stressing them, you know, additional heat and cold situations. This is not a humane way to be looking at the challenges that livestock producers have to face.”
National livestock groups have expressed their displeasure and are urging Congress to support expanded hours-of-service flexibility.