Tester, Daines Introduce Bill to Fix Burdensome Regulations on Livestock Haulers

Bipartisan legislation will change Electronic Logging Device rules, improve profits for ranchers

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines today introduced a bill that will ease burdensome regulations on livestock haulers.

The bipartisan Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act changes a Department of Transportation rule that requires drivers who haul live animals to adhere to strict time constraints monitored by Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), exempting them from some road time requirements and allowing them to better care for the live animals they are transporting.

“Ranchers and livestock haulers face unique circumstances when hauling live animals, and the rules should reflect that,” Tester said. “This bill gives them the flexibility they need to safely transport their product and get it to market in time while protecting both the animals and their bottom line.”

“Our ranchers and livestock haulers don’t need some burdensome government mandate telling them how to do their jobs,” Daines said. “This legislation is about strengthening our rural communities and stopping a policy that’s harming Montana agriculture. I’ll continue to fight for common sense solutions that remove undue burdens and restore certainty for our ranchers and livestock haulers.”

Beginning in December 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation started requiring commercial drivers to install ELDs to track compliance with Hours of Service rules. However, these new requirements can prevent livestock haulers from safely completing trips.

The Senators’ bill would exclude livestock haulers from these new ELD requirements until a driver travels more than 300 air miles from their starting point, while also allowing them to complete their trip if they come within 150 air miles of their destination regardless of their Hours of Service.

The bill also exempts livestock haulers from including loading and unloading times-which can take up to a few hours-in their Hours of Service and grants more flexibility in the amount of time they can drive while imposing longer mandatory rest after a trip is completed.

Text of the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act is available HERE.