CCA joins coalition advocating for unique circumstances facing commercial drivers hauling livestock
The Canadian trucking industry is among the most closely supervised sectors in Canada. New regulations came into force on January 1, 2023 designed to further improve safety and address driver fatigue. These regulations mandate Electronic Logging Device (ELD) use by federally regulated carriers. This mandate works hand in hand with Hours of Service rules. An ELD automatically records a driver’s driving time and duty status. No provisions have been made for the unique circumstances that may arise when transporting livestock.
Drivers hauling livestock cannot always pull over and go “off-duty” because of their live cargo. Facilities, weather, and animal care concerns must all be considered. Drivers currently account for this in their logistical plan for off-duty time but challenges arise when unforeseen circumstances or emergencies cause drivers to max-out their on-duty time in locations where unloading the cattle for feed, water, and rest is not feasible. This could occur because of temperamental animals slowing loading, veterinary inspections slowing border crossings, or weather and road conditions slowing transport speeds.
The CCA position is that both human and animal welfare must be considered in transport regulations. CCA is advocating along with numerous other national commodity and veterinary organizations. Our first goal is to secure recognition that animal welfare constitutes an emergency under Subsections 76(1) and (2) and thus would permit drivers to extend the driving time allowed to reach their destination.
The long-term proposed solution is harmonization with United States’ regulations which provide an exemption from livestock drivers’ on-duty time within a 150 air mile radius from the origin and destination of their trip. This exemption provides the flexibility needed to deliver live animals without compromising animal welfare and has not compromised driver or public safety.