House Ag Leaders Sign Letter of Expression Supporting Regulatory Flexibility for Livestock HaulersWed, 31 Oct 2018 10:58:39 CDT
House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), and members Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) submitted a bipartisan letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in support of a petition to waive livestock haulers from certain provisions of Hours of Service (HOS) rules. The petition, which was submitted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), American Beekeeping Federation (ABF), American Honey Producers Association (AHPA), and National Aquaculture Association (NAA), requests increased driving hours for livestock haulers in exchange for additional training designed by FMCSA.
The letter was signed by 59 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.
“Current hours of service regulations do not accommodate the unique needs of livestock haulers,” said Ranking Member Peterson. “This petition will allow them to deliver agricultural products to market more effectively while maintaining their proven record of safety.”
“The safe transportation of livestock is an essential part of feeding America,” said Congressman Yoho. “This petition would modify the current regulations so we protect the safety of both haulers and livestock in route to their final destination. I want to thank Congressman Peterson, Congressman Marshall, and all my colleagues who lead this bipartisan letter in support of the petition to provide relief for livestock haulers.”
“Livestock haulers across the country have the difficult task of ensuring motorist safety while also tending to the health and welfare of the animals transported,” said Congressman Marshall. “I was proud to support this petition that works to address a livestock haulers unique tasks, while also maintaining their strong safety record.”
“When livestock and other live animals are transported, it’s important to get them to their destination safely and without delay or disruption,” said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Safety for the driver and others on the road is a priority. That is why we are petitioning DOT to adopt modern fatigue-management practices that provide the same or greater level of safety while avoiding unintended and unnecessary stress on the animals entrusted to our care. We greatly appreciate Reps. Yoho, Peterson, Marshall and the other Members of Congress who wrote DOT in support of the petition.”
“We’re very thankful to Congressmen Peterson, Yoho, Marshall, and others for helping lead the effort to bring some common sense and flexibility to the Hours of Service rules that govern livestock haulers,” said Kevin Kester, fifth-generation California rancher and President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “We hope that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sees the support of many Members of Congress from across the United States for this petition, and recognizes the need for flexibility. We look forward to continuing our work to deliver more flexibility for haulers while maintaining a very strong safety record for fellow highway travelers.”
"Safety is our top priority. However, the current Hours of Service rules do not take into account the unique needs of our livestock haulers to prioritize necessary animal care by our farmers, ranchers and truck drivers,” said Kevin Paap, President of the Minnesota Farm Bureau. “We appreciate Representative Peterson's leadership in making sure these regulations have a common-sense approach that provide necessary flexibility while keeping safety top of mind."
"Livestock, unlike general freight, cannot stay on the trailer during rest or downtime. The expansion of hours of service for livestock haulers is imperative to livestock health and wellbeing while being transported,” said Krist Wollum, President of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. “Livestock haulers have an exemplary safety record and go through specialized training to help them to ensure the livestock they are hauling are cared for the entire route of the trip."
“The members of the Livestock Marketing Association greatly appreciate the leadership of Representatives Yoho, Peterson, and Marshall,” said Tom Frey, President of the Livestock Marketing Association and owner of the Creston Livestock Auction of Creston, Iowa. “This bipartisan, cross-country showing of support of important changes to the livestock hauling regulatory framework demonstrates just how important flexibility for our haulers is.”
“Fish and crawfish farmers ship live fish for sale as live seafood in restaurants or retail stores, bait fish for recreational fishing, game fish for stocking in private and public waters, live crawfish for crawfish boils, and other fish for a variety of uses all across the country,” said Jim Parsons, President of the National Aquaculture Association. “The trucks we use are specially equipped to maintain fish health and welfare and our drivers are trained and experienced to deliver live, healthy fish on-time. Our petition provides US aquaculture with the much needed additional driving time to negotiate country roads and highway reconstruction and the opportunity to prevent driver fatigue. We greatly appreciate the bipartisan leadership by Congressman Peterson, Congressman Yoho, and Congressman Marshall in supporting a petition that benefits our drivers, fish, customers and folks driving along with us on America’s highways and byways.”
“The small but mighty beekeeping industry hauls managed honeybees clear across the country to pollinate crops like almonds, apples, pears and blueberries,” said Kelvin Adee, President of the American Honey Producers Association. “These bees are responsible for nearly $20 billion in American agricultural output annually. Without changes to the existing hours of services rules for bee haulers, our drivers would be forced to rest unnecessarily long periods of time while the sun is up and the bees are at risk of overheating and dying. We believe that the petition we submitted alongside other livestock interests strikes the critical balance between ensuring the health of our nation’s already imperiled managed bees and the safety of our roads. We applaud Representatives Peterson, Yoho, and Marshall for writing in support of this petition.”
“As beekeepers, we are well aware of the importance of managed honey bees to our food source,” said Tim May, President of the American Beekeeping Federation. “Nearly one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by honey bees. Due to the increased demand for honey bee pollination, livestock haulers are transporting bees all across the country. Extending the HOS for livestock haulers gives bee haulers the added time needed to coordinate with the required daylight driving schedule. We at ABF understand that safety is always the number one priority and we commend the new safety requirements suggested for livestock haulers.”
A copy of the letter is available by clicking here.
Source - The Office of House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson
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