Federal regulators have granted drivers transporting livestock a one-year exemption from an hours-of-service requirement that they take a 30-minute rest break before driving no more than eight hours.
The exemption was requested by the National Pork Producers Council who said the process of transporting livestock, whether for slaughter, transfer of ownership, breeding or finding forage for feed, is a significant concern to the agricultural industry, according to an announcement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
“The animals face a variety of stresses including temperature, humidity, and weather conditions,” the NPPC said in its exemption request on behalf of a number of food and livestock trade organizations. “Under the industry’s guidelines, drivers are directed to avoid stopping in temperatures greater than 80 degrees.”
FMCSA said the exemption would not jeopardize highway safety.
“This conclusion is supported by the real-world experience of the industry’s operations under the limited 90-day waiver FMCSA granted in 2013,” the agency said.