Animal welfare requirements for livestock haulers

Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Counsel and Senior Director of Member Engagement Leah Curtis explains the animal welfare compliance requirements for livestock haulers:

Typically there are commodity specific animal welfare trainings that many livestock drivers become certified in. For example, the pork industry has its Transport Quality Assurance program which certifies drivers and requires drivers to follow important animal welfare guidelines.

In particular, hauling livestock and bees requires a driver to be cognizant of temperature and livestock trailers are designed to create airflow during travel to keep animals cool and comfortable. The Hours of Service requirements may require a driver to stop before the destination, likely requiring animals to be unloaded and have a stay over while the driver takes the mandated rest break.

Unloading and reloading can cause stress to the animals, and there is a lack of infrastructure to provide such a stay over throughout the country. While these have been concerns for many years with Hours of Service requirements, the inability of ELDs to recognize the important exemptions that apply to farm transportation have made these issues more apparent.