LMA's Jara Settles Updates Status of ELDs and Hours of Service for Cattle IndustryMon, 09 Dec 2019 14:10:13 CST
Jara Settles, General Counsel for the Livestock Marketing Association, sat down with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays to talk about ELD's and hours of service.
The current hours of service for all commodity services is 11 hours, and after that time, you are required to rest 10 consecutive hours. However, with cattle being born all over the country, sometimes bringing those cattle back across to the feeding sector can take longer than 11 hours. Settles says the current regulatory framework doesn't work for livestock haulers, "We've been working with our partner organizations over the last several years to try to find some flexibility in those areas. Its truly a balancing act between animal welfare, economics, and maintaining safety. I think by working with our neighboring trade organizations, we are trying to walk that fine line."
Settles says concerning where we are in the electronic logging device context, the livestock haulers are currently exempt from ELD's, (Electronic logging devices) "That's happened through the appropriations process with the fiscal year 19 appropriations package. That continues to be the rule, we're cautiously optimistic that the 2020 appropriations package will also contain a delay for those livestock haulers."
Looking ahead to next year, Settles says once the ELD's become required for everybody, there's also some legislative issues on the horizon, "A couple of weeks ago, the tread act dropped on the house side, and that's bill 4919. What that would do is for those drivers who are close to within the end of their run, within 150 air miles of completion to use those extra hours, extra miles, to make it to their destination and to unload safely, just to get that little bit of extra flexibility. Does it fix the whole problem for everybody? No, but it gets them a lot closer."
Animal safety is always a top concern when hauling livestock, and its a concern to have them on the side of the road too long. Settles agrees, "Yeah, it's not good for anybody for livestock to sit, especially depending on the time of year. When it's cool, they can tolerate a little bit of a pause. Hot, humid days in the middle of Oklahoma, you're not stopping more than ten minutes without having some real mortality and morbidity concerns. So allowing those drivers who are professionals to use some judgment in how to handle that livestock and how they need to manage them, I think, is really the key in terms of maintaining their safety but also the well being of that livestock."
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete interview with Jara Settles as she talks with Ron Hays.
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