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New bill would help livestock haulers


Recently introduced legislation would give farmers, ranchers and livestock haulers more flexibility when transporting live animals and perishable goods.

The Responsible and Efficient Agriculture Destination (TREAD) Act, HR 4919, would allow drivers hauling live animals and agricultural commodities to finish their routes if they are within 150 air miles of their destination.

The proposed legislation will provide relief to transporters from the burdensome regulations that jeopardize the quality, health and wellbeing of livestock.

Building on the current exemption for the beginning of hauls at the “source,” the measure provides a 150 air-mile exemption from hours-of-service regulations on the back end of hauls for agricultural commodities. This would help create a safe, legal and logical solution when it makes sense for livestock haulers and farmers.

In addition, the TREAD Act allows this exemption to be used year-round, rather than only during planting and harvesting seasons.

“Farmers and ranchers need safe and humane transportation for the animals and goods they raise,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said.

The measure was proposed by Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Lloyd Smucker (R-Penn.). Co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Cindy Axne (D-Iowa).

The bill “promotes both highway safety and animal welfare by ensuring that hours-of-service regulations do not unfairly burden farmers and ranchers or the truckers who help deliver a healthy, affordable food supply. This legislation strikes the right balance for all involved. We appreciate the leadership of Reps. Craig and Smucker and encourage all members of Congress to support this much-needed regulatory relief,” Duvall said.

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