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Hours-of-service Rule Waived

New DOT transportation rule waived for drivers hauling livestock.

A major victory for America’s hog, cattle and poultry farmers, the U.S. Department of Transportation informed the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) that it will grant a 90-day waiver of a new hours-of-service rule for drivers transporting livestock and poultry. Official notice of the decision was published July 11 in the Federal Register.

Effective July 1, the rule from DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute rest break if more than 8 hours have passed since beginning service. For drivers hauling livestock, the hours of service would include time loading and unloading animals.

NPPC, along with 13 other livestock, poultry and food organizations, in a June 19 letter petitioned the FMCSA for the 90-day waiver from complying with the 30-minue rest break requirement in the new rule. The groups also requested a two-year exemption from the rest break requirement, which the agency agreed to consider.

The organizations said the regulation would “cause livestock producers and their drivers irreparable harm, will place the health and welfare of the livestock in their care at risk and will provide no apparent increased benefit to public safety (and will likely decrease public safety) while forcing the livestock industry and [its] drivers to choose between the humane handling of animals or complying with a FMCSA regulation requiring a 30-minute rest break.”

The groups also pointed out that the livestock and poultry industries have programs — developed and offered through the USDA — that educate drivers on transportation safety and animal welfare. Click here to read the Federal Register notice.

comment on this storyEditor’s Note: This article was first published in NPPC’s July 12 Capital Update, available online at



























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