ASI Joins Stakeholders on Hours of Service Exemption
January 12, 2018

The American Sheep Industry Association has been working with other livestock and agricultural stakeholders to ensure producers have access to livestock haulers and that necessary exemptions remain in place during the transition from paper to electronic logging. While the coalition has made progress to ensure congressionally mandated exemptions to Hours of Service regulations are included in the final rules from the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, concerns still remain regarding a number of provisions. Specifically, issues about when and where the clock actually starts.

Since 1995, there has been an agricultural exemption to FCMSA's Hours of Service regulation. This exemption is necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of sheep and other livestock being transported. Our nation's livestock transporters have an unparalleled highway safety record. The welfare of sheep, as well as that of the motoring public, remain the top priorities for the industry.

Fortunately, the coalition has been able to secure a 90-day waiver from the Hours of Service regulations pertaining to the Electronic Logging Mandate through the agency and language in the pending transportation appropriations bill, which gives producers immediate relief from these provisions. While the 90-day waiver has removed the immediate threat, the industry is continuing to seek a year-long delay, which is clearly needed to settle remaining issues and give the agency time to educate enforcement personnel.

While the coalition continues to work with the agency and Congress to solve further issues that have been raised, ASI joined with more than 20 additional stakeholders to request an extension of the comment period regarding proposed regulatory guidance concerning the transportation of agricultural commodities. ASI will continue to remain engaged in these discussions to ensure producers have access to livestock transportation and that livestock haulers are not hindered by regulations that jeopardize animal welfare without any corresponding benefit to highway safety.