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Livestock, Poultry Transporters Get Temporary Waiver from Hours Rule Provision

by 5m Editor
17 July 2013, at 7:57am

US - Responding to concerns raised by a coalition of animal agriculture associations, including the National Chicken Council, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granted a limited 90-day waiver delaying implementation of the required 30-minute rest break following eight hours on duty.

The 30-minute rest period is part of the new Federal Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulation that took effect on 1 July 2013.

The new HOS regulation limits the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the current maximum of 82 hours, and requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

Several associations representing various segments of the livestock industry raised concerns about the risks to the health of animals from rising temperatures inside livestock trucks during drivers’ mandatory 30-minute break, especially in light of long-range weather forecasts for above-normal temperatures for July, August, and September.

The industry requested relief, and the agency determined that it was appropriate to grant a limited 90-day waiver for this period to ensure the well-being of the nation’s livestock during interstate transportation.

The FMCSA continues to review the coalition’s request for a permanent exemption from the 30-minute rule for transporters of live animals. The Federal Register notice is available by clicking here.

You can view the industry’s letter requesting relief by clicking here.