The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) this week offered Federal Register comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) supporting a two-year exemption from the 30-minute rest break provision of the hours-of-service regulation for commercial motor vehicles.
"ASI is asking for a two-year exemption from the 30-minute rest-break provision," Clint Krebs, ASI president, stated in his comments. "Requiring compliance with the 30-minute rest-break rule places the health and welfare of the livestock at risk and provides no apparent benefit to public safety, while forcing the livestock industry and its drivers to choose between the humane handling of animals or compliance with the rule."
The process of transporting livestock, whether to slaughter, for transfer of ownership, for purposes of breeding or simply finding forage for feed, is a significant concern to the agricultural industry. The animals face a variety of stresses including temperature, humidity and weather conditions. For these reasons, current industry guidelines recommend that drivers avoid stopping as internal trailer temperatures can increase rapidly because of the loss of airflow through the trailer.
The sheep industry is very diverse and relies on the safe, timely transportation of its animals from all corners of the country. ASI strongly encourages FMCSA to provide a two-year exemption from the 30-minute rest-break provision for all CMVs transporting livestock.
"The safety and welfare of our animals remains a top priority and we encourage you to carefully consider these comments and listen to the concerns of the men and women who take pride in providing food for our growing nation and the world," concluded Krebs.